The Pittsburgh Steelers need to address their lack of depth at the linebacking position and this Draft offers a plethora of possibilities. One of those could be another Clemson linebacker in Kendall Joseph.
Kendall Joseph, Redshirt Senior, Linebacker 6’0″ 233 lbs
Hometown: Belton, South Carolina
Was a three-time weightlifting champion in high school… Graduated with a degree in Health Science
2018 Stats: 79 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks
What’s To Like
Very reliable guy you can expect to be on the field… Important contributor to both 2016 and 2018 National Title teams… Lunch pail type of guy who isn’t flashy but just works hard and does his job… Versatile LB who can play anywhere behind the line and on the edges when called upon… Understands his job in zone coverage… Gets around second-level blockers well… Very good tackler when he can get squared up… Plays well in big moments.
Does not possess the type of frame needed in the NFL… Struggles to anticipate ball carrier’s direction… Takes poor angles of pursuit… Does not get off of blocks well… Change of direction is lacking… When called upon to blitz he will gain a stalemate at best against the blocker… very little man-to-man experience… Productivity slipped in terms of tackle and tackles for loss totals over the final three seasons.
Much like the guy who played next to him at Clemson (Tre Lamar), Joseph was a reliable and hard-working linebacker who benefited from playing behind the best defensive line in all of college football. While he was a highly recruited player from the home state, Clemson coaches still got every ounce out of him. There were lots of things to like with Joseph but there were also a lot of concerns. He’s a one-shot tackler meaning if he misses there’s no chance for recovery and while he was used a lot as a blitzer, he would only get home when untouched. The Steelers sent a large contingent to the Clemson Pro Day and guys like Joseph can often get discovered while coaches are there to see bigger named players. I think he has the capability of being a decent special teams player and reserve linebacker but that’s about the extent of it.
Final Grade: Seventh Round/Undrafted Free Agent
Games Watched: Miami (2017), Alabama (2017), Duke (2018), Boston College (2018)
Credits: sports-reference.com, youtube.com, clemsontigers.com