Most of the talk about defensive prospects entering the NFL with knee injuries has focused on the potentially sagging stock of UCLA linebacker Myles Jack and Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith. One defensive prospect who was regarded as a sure-fire first rounder before suffering a torn ACL during practice last season is experiencing a late surge.
Of course, any time a player is supposedly rising on draft boards late in the process, the truth primarily is that the media and the draft experts are finally catching up with what the scouts believe. (Sometimes, however, an increase in stock after February or March happens when the coaching staff gets more involved in the process and falls in love with certain players.) Regardless of how it’s happening, former West Virginia safety Karl Joseph is currently expected to find a spot in round one come Thursday night.
That assessment comes from a source with a proven track record of accuracy and reliability in the always-sketchy world of anonymous sourcing in the days preceding the draft.
Ultimately, the team that takes Joseph may not have him for the first six weeks of the regular season, if his knee injury results in his placement on one of the preseason reserve lists. The current thinking is that someone in round one will gladly exchange six games for five years, and that it will be a major surprise if Joseph’s name isn’t called before the conclusion of round one.