Oakland Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie and Head Coach Jack Del Rio discuss the team's selection of West Virginia safety Karl Joseph in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Q: How do you evaluate Karl Joseph's passion on tape?
McKenzie:"By watching the tape, you just see, you can feel his passion. You can feel his intensity in the way he plays. You can feel his toughness. He has a very aggressive mentality. He's versatile. He can play all over the field, and he'll run and hit anything that moves."
Q: Was Joseph the best available at 14 or was he the guy all the way?**
McKenzie:"Picking 14, it's hard to decide who's going to be there. Let me tell you one thing, we loved Karl Joseph from Day 1. We were happy to get him when he came to 14."
Q: Could he be a cornerback?
McKenzie:"No. He's a safety. Yeah, he's a safety."
Q: Where there concerns about his knee?
McKenzie:"The medical is checking out fine. He's going to be ready to roll. Our doctors gave us the thumbs up."
Q: Is Joseph going to be available right away?
McKenzie:"We'll let him come here and let the doctors determine how much and to what level, but he'll be here. I don't know when they'll clear him, but the prognosis is good. He'll be ready to play this year."
Q: How does Joseph fit in?
Del Rio:"He's a guy that is very versatile. He can play at all the levels of your defense. He can come off the edge as a blitzer. He can play down in the box. He can play centerfield. He's a guy that does a great job taking angles, and he's a very effective and efficient hitter and tackler. He plays with great temperament. We just think he's a really good football player, and he'll have an infectious kind of personality and demeanor about himself. So, [we're] really excited to get our hands on him and looking forward to working with him."
Q: Did you think about trading back?
McKenzie:"If anything would have come up, I would have entertained it. We're just happy we got him. Wherever I got him, it wouldn't matter. He was our 14th pick, and we're happy to get him."
](http://www.raiderimage.com/category-draft.html)Q: Are big hitters devalued with the rule changes?**
McKenzie:"Not devalued. That offense is still going to figure out where No. so-and-so is. So from that standpoint, there's value to the defense. Now the way the rules have changed, I don't think Karl will be different, completely change his style because of the rules. Coach is going to coach him how to keep continuing to take those angles, so we're going to do it right. We're still going to be aggressive, tough, physical, within the rules. It's just the way it is."
Q: Did you guys consider Myles Jack at number 14 or was that a decision you made before the draft started?
McKenzie:"I'm not going to get into guys we considered. Who we considered was Karl Joseph, and we got him."
Del Rio:"I can tell you all about that one." (laughter)
Q: As Laremy Tunsil was going down the board, were you guys scrambling at all? He's a guy I'm sure you thought would be gone long before you guys picked. Was that something you guys were trying to react to in the room?
McKenzie:"We were scrambling making sure we had the right phone number for Karl Joseph." (laughter) **
Q: Everywhere you read, it talks about Karl Joseph being a big hitter. Is that type of presence something that you felt like this defense needed from the secondary**
Del Rio:"We're looking to be really good on defense. We want to be a really good football team. Obviously we've talked about the secondary play and our desire to have it perform at a higher level. I think the temperament that he brings, the intensity that he plays with and the instinctiveness that he has, those are things that we covet. It should be a real competitive group. We've added a couple of guys in free agency, and now to be able to add a player like Karl, it's awesome for us. Now we get to work. I wouldn't take anything away from his ball-hawking ability, his ball skills, his instincts, his ability to read quarterbacks and catch balls, not just knock them down, but catch them. He's a playmaker. He's a playmaker that takes good angles and also tackles and is known for his hitting, but he's more than just a hitter. I think he's a really good football player."
Q: Did he come out here for a visit or was it something you did on a remote basis?
McKenzie:"On a remote basis."
Q: The Raiders' search for a stadium is obviously making big news and taking a lot of time away from some people in the organization. Was Mark Davis less involved with this draft because of the other things going on? Were you and the other scouts able to insulate yourselves from all of that?
McKenzie:"To answer your question about the scouts concern, those guys, we have one job, and that's to evaluate and communicate to players. As far as where we play and all of that, we talk about that very little. As far as that's concerned, we just worried about what we can control. As far as Mark Davis, Mark and I talk all the time. That hasn't changed from every year. He's put a lot time into the stadium stuff. He's been a whole lot busier from that standpoint, but as far as the football team, in free agency and this draft, it's just like it has been."
Karl Joseph At West Virginia
Q: After Karl Joseph got hurt, the West Virginia coaches just raved about this kid, saying he was one of their favorite players that they've ever coached. Do those types of statements resonate with you that you'll be taking over with him at the next level?**
Del Rio:"Yeah, that's part of the background that the scouts really dig for and bring back to us and then obviously, as coaches, we get involved in the early spring and prepare leading up to the draft. When you have positive things like that, that just adds to the feeling that you have. You go in and look at the tape, there's good tape, and then you get feedback like that from the scouts and comments like that from coaches, that just bolsters your opinion."
Q: Prior to the draft, you've been making some good offseason moves, adding players to the roster. How do you not let the move or the relocation affect this season?
McKenzie: "Just staying on the course of what we're doing. We can't control where we play. We know we're going to be in Oakland this season and whatever happens afterwards is the future. There's no time for that right now. We're worried about this rookie camp, these OTAs and trying to put together the best team we can. If we start thinking about moving places, we're taking away from what we're here for and that's to get this team together and win some ball games."
Del Rio:"I'm really good at having tunnel vision, so we're locked in on being the best we can be right now, right here, where we are. We won't worry about things that are outside of our control. We'll let people who handle that, deal with that and we'll focus on the things we're in control of and that's the effort we bring every day. It's a special place, special people, and we've got a good team that needs to work, so right now, we're just focused on the work."
Q: Is there anything you can share about the conversation you had with Karl?
McKenzie:"I can tell you this; he and his family are extremely excited just by the background noise. He wanted to spend time with his family. He's in Haiti at this point, so we more than likely will not have him come in tomorrow, so you guys won't get a chance to see him on the stage, it doesn't seem right now, but he's extremely excited and he's happy to be a Raider."