Insider: Lions Rookie Now Earning New Title of Breakout NFL Star

Kerby Joseph

Getty Kerby Joseph celebrates a 2022 interception vs. the Packers.

The Detroit Lions have quietly made some progress in spite of a tough 2022 season, and the biggest reason that is the case is due to play from the team’s rookie class.

So far, nearly all the players from the class have played a starring role for the team, and perhaps the brightest star has become safety Kerby Joseph.

In Week 9, Joseph burst on the scene in a big way with a two interception game against the Green Bay Packers. That comes after two straight weeks with hard-hitting forced fumbles and more created turnovers.

As a result of that, Joseph has earned a major designation from NFL insider Matt Lombardo. After watching Week 9’s slate of games, Lombardo was so impressed with Joseph that he named him a breakout star of the week.

“Over the past three weeks, though, Joseph has been one of the Lions’ focal points on defense. Joseph has now created a turnover in each of the past three weeks, including forcing a fumble each of the past two games. The Lions are very much a work in progress, especially on defense, but Joseph is quickly earning a starring role in the secondary,” Lombardo wrote in the piece.

Accolades like this show how Joseph’s career arch is firmly planted in the upright position. As he continues to play and get comfortable, he will continue to get this kind of support from around the league.

Joseph Enjoyed MVP-Level Sunday

Indeed, the rookie out of Illinois had himself another big day with takeaways in Week 9, and continued a theme of making some big plays when the ball comes in his kitchen.

Joseph was playing defense for the Lions in the first half against Aaron Rogers, and was the lucky beneficiary of an erratic pass which deflected into the air and then into his arms.

Later on, Joseph made another pick of a Rodgers pass, and was dominating on the day for the Lions. He would leave late and go into concussion protocol, but the damage was done by the star defender. It was another impressive day for the rookie.

Joseph looks very comfortable in the league with heads-up plays such as this, and is gaining in confidence as his first season moves forward. It helps that he remains as humble as they come in terms of his mindset before and after the game.

PFF Loved Joseph’s Big Game vs. Packers

It isn’t just the insiders that like what they see from Joseph. The numbers gurus appreciate what he’s been doing early in his career thus far as well.

Joseph’s big game was cited by PFF writer Gordon McGuinness in a Week 9 wrap up piece. Joseph took home an impressive 90.1 rating for his game against Green Bay from the site, and as McGuinness said, the big plays have been what has boosted Joseph to the top of rankings.

“A third-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, Joseph has started the past five games for the Lions and has looked right at home in their secondary. Statistically, he actually allowed more yards in coverage on Sunday (38) than he had all season (29) coming into the game, but he also saved a pair of touchdowns with an interception of Aaron Rodgers at the three-yard line, undercutting the throw to Robert Tonyan and breaking up a deep ball at the five-yard line meant for Samori Toure,” he wrote.

No matter whether in eye test or metrics, it’s clear Joseph has made a big impression on folks in a short amount of time. As the Lions try to turn around their defense, that bodes well for their future.

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