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NFL Draft Profile: Brandon Joseph, Safety, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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NFL Draft profile scouting report for Notre Dame S Brandon Joseph

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#16

Pos: S

Ht: 6005

Wt: 192

40: 4.55

DOB: 02/05/

Hometown: College Station, TX

High School: College Station

Eligibility: 2023

Brandon Joseph

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

One-Liner:

Versatile Safety with impressive instincts and processing that excels in matchup dependent Zone+Man coverages and boasts impressive ball production but his average at best AA puts a cap on his ceiling.

Evaluation:

Brandon Joseph boasts eye-popping production thanks to special instincts and positional versatility. Northwestern primarily played him as their Strong Safety, and he is adept in Zone coverage as a robber in hook zones - route combination recognition is his specialty and he regularly diagnoses high-low concepts built to attack him. When brought down to the box, Joseph is often asked to cover Tight Ends man-to-man and shows a good blend of patience vs route salesmanship and physicality at the top of routes which leads to QBs looking elsewhere. Occasionally, Joseph is also asked to cover slot WRs in man-to-man and possesses fluid hips and great ball skills when he has his eyes towards the QB (see one-handed INT vs OSU). Furthermore, Joseph is functional when at single-high safety and thus offers teams the ability to rotate their defense post-snap and fool offenses. With good awareness, efficient footwork and a keen ability to be one step ahead of the QB, Joseph is able to erase mistakes on the back end and create turnovers. He’s a ball magnet due to being the smartest guy on defense, regularly pointing teammates in the right direction and correctly flowing in the direction of where the offense is attacking before they do so. Joseph is also a willing run supporter with a high motor to chase the ball all around the field and has quick processing skills when diagnosing motion, misdirection and option plays. Joseph is the classic high floor-low ceiling type of prospect who lacks the great AA to warrant a high-end outcome as he is more of a jack of all trades, master of none. While he almost always has the right intentions in Zone coverage, he simply can’t always get to the ball in time due to average foot speed, agility and overall range. Furthermore, Joseph will be matchup dependent in man coverage and struggles mightily when trailing with his back to the ball due to an inability to play through a wide receiver’s hands at the catch point. In addition, please teach this man how to tackle as he does not throttle down, track the inside hip or wrap up, instead diving aimlessly like a flopping fish. Versatile Safety whose instincts and processing make up for average athleticism and allow Joseph to excel in matchup dependent Zone+Man coverages. Ball magnet who seems to predict where the offense wants to go and has sticky hands to secure turnovers. Will intrigue almost every team in the NFL due to his ability to be dependable in multiple roles, but will likely never be more than a solid starter due to average AA and lacking an elite trait.

Grade:

3rd Round

Background:

Brandon Joseph was raised in College Station, TX and attended College Station High School where he tallied 95 tackles, 10 PBUs, 5 INTs, 5 TFLs and 2 FFs as a senior. Joseph earned All-State honors in 2018, led College Station High School to the Texas 5A State Championship and was an Academic All-State honoree. After high school, 247 Sports rated Joseph as a 3-star recruit, the 1005th-best recruit nationally, the 83rd-ranked safety recruit in the country and the 130th recruit in the state of Texas. At Northwestern, Joseph appeared in just 4 games as a freshman in 2019, then started 9 as a sophomore and tallied an impressive 52 tackles, 8 PBUs and 6 INTs. Joseph was recognized for his play with a unanimous selection to the AFCA All-American First Team, AP All-Big Ten First Team, AP Big Ten Newcomer of the Year and became the first Big Ten player to record at least three INTs in his first three games since Malik Hooker and Marshon Lattimore. Joseph is well respected by his coaches and his penchant for turnovers isn’t just dumb luck. Northwestern Defensive Coordinator, Mike Hankwitz, said of Joseph, “Some guys can get positioned, but they don’t always come up with the play. He finds a way to come up with a play.” This playmaking ability goes back to Joseph’s high school days, where his College Station High School Safeties coach, Kyle King, raves about Joseph’s turnover prowess and versatility, “More so than any kid I’ve ever coached, he has a way to find the football. Whether it’s at receiver, in the nickel, at free safety, at strong safety, on punt block, he finds the football. You can’t coach what he has for being in the right position at the right time.” Joseph has stayed healthy throughout college and has a clean track record, he’ll be looking to prove 2020 wasn’t a fluke, and cement his status as one of the best DBs in the nation.

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