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Vosean Joseph Has The Athleticism and Power To Play Nickel LB In The NFL; Can The Redskins Develop Him?

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2019 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Vosean Joseph, LB
School: Florida | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 230 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th or 5th Round
NFL Comparison: Jerome Baker

College Statistics

Player Overview

Vosean Joseph a native of Miami, Florida accepted the scholarship offered to him by the Gators within 24 hours of receiving it back in 2015. Joseph spurned the hometown Hurricanes who had also been in on trying to recruit him. The 3-star recruit was woo’d by Florida’s linebacker coach and co-defensive coordinator Randy Shannon (now of UCF) and did not hesitate to come up to Gainesville. Joseph was considered raw even coming out of high school. The consensus was that he had great athletic skills but still was learning the nuances of the linebacker position. That consensus has stayed true throughout his college career. Joseph gained national attention during his freshman season when he laid down a powerful hit against former LSU QB Danny Etling at the goal line. The hit cemented Joseph’s reputation as a powerful, physical, linebacker who is looking for highlight reel plays such as that one. It was both a positive and negative. While its a trait you certainly want out of your linebacker Joseph’s production and efficiency has been up and down during his career in part because he has yet still to learn the nuances of the position and can struggle remain disciplined as he looks for these big plays. To his credit his new position coach has praised his attitude and work ethic. He studies film, his instincts have improved over the years but he still needs to put it all together. There were big questions about Joseph’s size coming into the combine. He probably played in the low 220’s during the season. If he can keep his weight above 230 and continue to improve his technique, coverage ability, amongst other things he presents an interesting choice for a team needing a 3rd linebacker or one who can operate in nickel and other sub packages.

Strengths

  • Good speed, athleticism, and physicality for the position.
  • Joseph’s calling cards are his speed, hit power, and athleticism. When he is asked to blitz you can see he’s especially effective at getting penetration as he runs past blockers to help with stopping the run he also puts the QB under pressure and posted some impressive sack production this year. Big play ability is there.
  • Converts speed to power really well and has some impressive short yardage stops. Takes decent pursuit angles when coming to the ball from the back side. Looks fluid and moves around well in space.
  • Read and react ability is decent so is tackling technique.

Weaknesses

  • Joseph is raw and unpolished. If you watched the tapes you’ll see for every great play he has a bad one it seems. He takes a lot of chances and can blow coverages, miss tackles entirely by diving, over pursues angles, and doesn’t have the technique or functional strength to fight through many blocks.
  • Instincts are average at best and you can see that he takes false steps and will put himself in bad positions. I think he’s trying to guess the play a lot of the times instead of remaining disciplined and patient.
  • While he can move well in coverage he does not have great technique as a defender in coverage. He tries to cheat and oftentimes gets looked off by the QB who can move him from his position. As a nickel LB he is going to have to learn how to mirror the slot.
  • Size is a concern. He gained some weight for the combine but can he keep it on and add a little more as well as get stronger.

Let’s see his work:

More Vosean Joseph videos

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

Joseph is definitely an interesting developmental prospect to consider on the last day of the draft. He reminds me a lot of former Buckeye Jerome Baker who went in the 3rd round last year. They have a lot of similar qualities which I covered last year here. Despite not having the best instincts or technique which prevent them from getting on the field early these guys have great athleticism for the position. Joseph quite simply could just be a slow learner but to his credit he did improve greatly this past season to get himself into this current position. One the Redskins he would obviously have to start out on special teams this is where him maintaining and adding to his size is so important even as a nickel LB. I think the money spot for him is around 235. Joseph should have the opportunity to play on kick coverage teams while also hopefully improving his size, strength, and technique in other areas. Joseph is a player who based on his past develop I think you may not see results out of until his final year on his contract. Still if he is able to tone down some of his impulses and improve his technique he could potentially develop into a fine player in the NFL because of his athleticism and physicality.