While the Northwest Wildcats may be struggling to replicate the success of this year’s draft, they have a potential candidate in the first round in 2022 NFL Draft in safety Brandon Joseph? The versatile playmaker rose to prominence last year with a number of eye-catching plays. However, as his scout report reveals, these interceptions are just the icing on the cake of a very delicious cake.
Brandon Joseph NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Security
- School: Northwest
- Current year: Redshirt Sophomore
- Height: 6’1 ″
- Weight: 192 pounds
Brandon Joseph Scouting Report
These eye-catching pieces seem like an excellent place to start Joseph’s 2022 NFL Draft scout report.
As we will discuss later in this piece, Northwestern Security made some incredible wiretaps last year. They are a big part of what makes Joseph a unique cover security. He demonstrates excellent ball tracking skills and possesses a pair of hands as confident as any defensive back in the class. His production is not just a case of getting the ball thrown at him; he routinely enables himself to make a game. In addition to his ball tracking skills and catchability, the Northwest security exhibits impressive body control.
The latter point is an element of a unique athletic profile. Joseph possesses ample speed to be a threat from sideline to sideline. When you see the wildcat this coming season, he is the player you see flying around the field. In addition to his playing speed, Joseph has an amazing ability to change direction and is extremely fluent in his movements. Everything comes together in coverage with the capacity to close quickly and make a game. Meanwhile, he has proven to be sticky when he is in man coverage.
Joseph was led by several Ivy League programs, a testament to his intelligence. While being smart does not always match the intelligence of football, it certainly does in Northwestern security. Joseph demonstrates excellent play recognition skills and can often be seen leading his teammates to make adjustments before snap.
Areas for improvement
At this point, there is significantly more positive with Joseph’s scout report than negatives. However, there are areas that can be improved.
I did not mention his tackling ability above, but Joseph shows physicality when called to action. That said, he can sometimes be guilty of an overzealous approach. When flying around the field, he needs to take a more focused approach to some games to ensure he does not miss the ball carrier and give up unnecessary extra yardage.
Although he has demonstrated versatility by standing up for multiple adjustments, there was a high percentage of split field adjustments in the games examined. He has the athletic profile to play single-high safety, but at the moment there is not enough evidence to project him with certainty to be able to play that role in the NFL.
Brandon Joseph’s player profile
Every kid wants to be a quarterback growing up, and Joseph was no different. Early on in College Station High School, the NFL Draft safety prospect in 2022 played both quarterback and wide receiver. Still, on his way into his sophomore year, coaches approached the young signalman for a change of position. Projected to be backup QB, they offered him the opportunity to be a starter in the heart of the secondary.
It was the start of a spectacular ascent for the now northwestern security. Joseph put his passing skills to destructive use on defense and he caught 4 interceptions as a sophomore. In addition, he showed impressive special-team abilities and power as tackles. It was shown graphically in his junior season with 119 tackles while flashing ball skills with 7 interceptions.
Unfortunately, Joseph’s production did not translate into the recruiting track
A three-star recruit, he only ranked as the 83rd safety in the class while not cracking the top 100 high school prospects in Texas. Despite this, his off-field intelligence was recognized with offers from Harvard, Dartmouth and Cornell. In addition, Power Five programs came knocking, and in July 2018, he committed to Texas Tech.
Joseph’s impressive transformation from quarterback to safety continued into his senior season. The versatile defense weapon helped lead College Station to a Texas 5A State Championship that compiled a mind-blowing state sheet. He logged 95 tackles, 10 pass breakups, 5 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles while adding kick return, punt return and fumble recovery touchdowns.
When his time at College Station ended, so was his involvement in Texas Tech. Kliff Kingsbury’s departure as head coach of the Red Raiders saw a number of players lift their commitment. Joseph was one of them. After being courted by some of the most academic programs in the country, it was no surprise that a week after the reopening of his recruitment, he committed to the Northwest.
Joseph’s career in Northwestern
Joseph’s performances through spring and summer camps caught the attention of staff in the northwestern United States. Even though he was just a real beginner, there was a consideration of throwing him right into the deep end as a starting safety. In the end, he just wanted to play four games before taking a red shirt. But from his first tackle in his debut against Ohio State through 3 tackles against UMass, the indication was that Northwestern had someone special to play safety in the coming seasons.
His aura became apparent in 2020. Although he would tackle for loss in his first start against Maryland, it was the second game of the season when Joseph introduced himself to the college football world. The Northwestern Security won co-Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors after capturing 2 interceptions against Iowa. One week later, Joseph added a third choice against Nebraska.
3 interceptions in the first three games of the season was a historic level of production
Only three other players in the last 10 years have achieved the remarkable feat. Not satisfied, Jospeh earned yet another Big Ten Freshman of the Week award after his second 2-wicket game of the season, this time against Wisconsin. Northwestern security kept the secondary down for a defense that helped drive wildcats to the Big Ten Championship game.
Despite falling to Ohio State, Joseph showed the very best of his playmaking skills. A one-handed interception of a passport intended for Garrett Wilson catapulted him into the national consciousness. The Northwestern Security received the Big Ten Newcomer of the Year award after the campaign. Meanwhile, he was a first All-American team of several deals after leading the nation in wiretapping.
Joseph is entering the upcoming college football season on a wave of anticipation. With Notre Dame Kyle Hamilton ranked higher in our early look at top safety in the 2022 NFL Draft class. Although it is difficult to replace the Notre Dame safety, Joseph has the talent to be a choice in the first round, although the position value may mean that he slips into round 2.
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Oliver Hodgkinson is an NFL Draft Analyst for the Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.