Former Raiders 1st Round Pick Earns Second Contract With New Team

karl joseph

Getty Former Raiders DB Karl Joseph.

Over the past several years, the Las Vegas Raiders have not been great at making first-round picks. Left tackle Kolton Miller of the 2018 class is the only first-round pick on the team to get a second contract since running back Darren McFadden of the 2008 class got one. One first-round pick who had a moderate amount of success was Karl Joseph, who was drafted in 2016. Despite starting 41 games in four years with the Raiders, he didn’t even get his fifth-year option picked up.

Unlike other recent first-round picks by the team, who are essentially out of the NFL like Gareon Conley or Damon Arnette, Joseph may have found a long-term home. Last year, he landed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was mostly on the practice squad and only played in two games but they liked him enough to bring him back.

He’s only getting one year but the chances of him playing more snaps are greatly increased. Joseph has always been a solid player and was one of the Raiders’ better defenders when he was with the team. He just never lived up to being the No. 14 overall pick in the 2016 draft. The Steelers are a good place for him to land as head coach Mike Tomlin is one of the strongest defensive minds in the NFL.

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Raiders Not Ruling out Moving up in the Draft

The Raiders have a new front office making draft picks this year with the hiring of general manager Dave Ziegler. While the team has been among the worst at drafting in early rounds, Ziegler wasn’t a part of any of those picks. He could be much better or much worse than previous regimes. It could take a while to find out how he performs in the draft as the Raiders traded away their first and second-round picks to land Davante Adams.

However, Ziegler isn’t ruling out the possibility of moving back up in the draft.

“Our first pick is in the third round, and we’ll see if that’s where we end up,” Ziegler said at the recent NFL owners meetings. “I have had some experiences in New England where we didn’t have a first-round pick. The fact that I have experienced it won’t make it that strange. If that is how it ends up and we don’t pick until the third round, there is a little more time to prepare. You will see where things fall and have a clear picture of what’s available and what’s not.”


Unlikely Raiders Actually Move Up

While moving up in the draft is a fun idea to think about, it’s difficult to see the Raiders actually doing it. Derek Carr, Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller are the only realistic trade pieces who could get the team a first-round pick. It would be a huge mistake to trade any of them and none of them have been the subject of trade rumors.

Perhaps they could give away next year’s first-round pick to try and move up this year. The Raiders would have to really love a player to do that. Anything is on the table but Ziegler is a new general manager so he’s still a wild card.

READ NEXT: Raiders Free Agent Responds to Question on Future: ‘I Ain’t Going Nowhere’

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