Clemson has always accumulated highly touted high school football recruits, but since Brett Venables took over the defense in 2012 the Tigers seem to be producing NFL Draft picks on defense in waves. As we get closer to the start of the college football season we’ll continue to look at seniors to keep an eye on during the season. Linebacker Kendall Joseph who will go down as a three year starter on a defense that was largely considered one of the most talented in the nation. Let’s find out more about Joseph.
Who is Kendall Joseph
Manning the middle linebacker position in Clemson’s defense Joseph has proven to be a tackling machine accumulating 206 total tackles including 16.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. Joseph uses his speed and athleticism to run from side to side attacking the ball carrier. If given a lane to run to the ball Joseph is highly successful, however he can struggle to get off blocks and even get caught up in traffic at times.
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) August 13, 2017
Against the pass Joseph mainly plays zone coverage underneath looking to read the quarterbacks eyes. He does well flowing laterally and is able to cover up drags and hooks over the middle. While he isn’t asked much to cover man to man, his athletic traits show that he would be able to run with tight ends and some running backs out of the backfield. As a pass rusher Joseph is best used as a blitzer trying to get a free run at the quarterback.
NFL Fit for Kendall Joseph
Joseph has a lot of good traits that will make him a draftable linebacker prospect. However lacking good explosion and the ability to get off blocks will limit him in the NFL. His best position would likely be a weakside linebacker put into a position to play less with bodies around him. Joseph likely doesn’t have starter traits, but should be a core special teams player and backup that despite some limitations could be the backup at all three linebacker positions.