Lions Scoop Freaky Athletic Safety With Eye-Popping PFF Metric

Lions Helmet

Getty A Lions helmet on the bench in Dallas.

The Detroit Lions needed a defensive back in the 2022 NFL draft, particularly a safety. Finally, after skipping the position earlier in the draft, the team was able to land one in Kerby Joseph with pick 97.

Joseph is a player that burst on the scene at the position given his profile as an offensive player first. Once he got on the field and started playing defense, though, he blossomed in a big way. The Lions are betting on that potential shining through for their defense very soon.

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While some folks might not have Joseph on the radar, the Lions did, and a bit reason likely had to do with the fact that the defensive back is already a major favorite of Pro Football Focus.

According to the site, Joseph’s 90.8 PF grade is the second-highest mark amongst power-five safeties since 2020. That’s a big group of players, which shows how Joseph can run with the big dogs already.

The Lions will be happy to have Joseph on their side to cover ground, and he will get the chance to show his stuff playing with Tracy Walker and DeShon Elliott.

Joseph’s Amazing Flips Have Gone Viral

Joseph is a solid athlete, and that is reflected in the fact that he played wide receiver before playing safety and did double duty. That experience helped hone his focus coming into the NFL, where now, Joseph is a player who has a home and has developed.

How athletic is Joseph? Let’s just say that he makes a habit of being springy on the field, and has become known for his flips. Whether in cleats or Crocs, Joseph can turn it loose as this amazing video snippet shows:

In terms of metrics, Joseph showed why he is so bouncy given a solid 38.5 vertical jump. That’s the mark of a player who can fly and cover a lot of ground. Lions fans will want to see Joseph flipping out in a big way after some big plays and Detroit wins like he did with Illinois.

Joseph’s College Stats & Highlights

It’s not all just flash with Joseph, though. The safety has a lot of substance to his game as well, statistically and otherwise. Quickly, Joseph has been able to produce some numbers which show him as a major ballhawk. That is a trait which figures to serve him well once he comes into the league. Joseph has 116 tackles, 5 interceptions, 6 passes defended and 1 forced fumble. Most of that production came in his senior year.

Here’s a look at some of his best plays with the Fighting Illini:

Kerby Joseph 2021 Highlights | Illinois DB | 2022 NFL Draft ProspectBallhawk safety from the Big 10 2021 Stats: 57 Tkl, 5 INT, 1 Sack, 3 FR2022-02-10T23:05:52Z

Joseph will make his transition into the NFL with a great chance to step up and become a major difference maker. His athleticism and quality traits on the field could help him become a player who sees the field fast for Detroit and makes a big impact when he does.

If that turns out to be the case, PFF may have seen it all along with the metrics.

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