Man, Look at the big defensive tackle in that throw back jersey! Linval Joseph is an enormous human being. Standing 6’4″, 330 pounds, Joseph gives lineman fits when trying to block him. He is an immovable object in the trenches with that size and his strength. It is surprising that the Minnesota Vikings cut him, as he is still playing at an extremely high level, but the Vikings really cleaned house this offseason. The Chargers are extremely lucky to get a player of his caliber, especially at the price they signed him for. Joseph signed a 2-year, $17 million dollar contract with $9.5 million guaranteed.
While Joseph may not be as young as other players cashing in free agency at his position, he is every bit as productive. Javon Hargrave, Jarren Reed and Malik Jackson all just signed contracts averaging $10 million or more. Getting Joseph at $8.5 million a year seems like a steal. While he has taken a step back from his previous years, he is still a top 10 player at his position and a massive upgrade over Brandon Mebane. He will be the perfect player to help develop both Justin Jones and Jerry Tillery and make the jobs of our young linebacking corps easier.
Joseph really shines in run defense. He re-routes centers and pulling guards, often pushing them back into the running lanes, which makes the running back have to change the direction of the play. He is very smart as well. Watching his tape, you see his knowledge as he recognizes where the blocking assignments are supposed to be and how he finds ways to disrupt it. He has spurts where he looks rather athletic, especially for his monstrous size, but he is also noticeably slower off-the-snap. Still, you will see him chasing down running backs when he gets sideline to sideline, but the quickness of it isn’t there. He doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher, but he still is able to apply pressure by driving lineman into the lap of the quarterback.
Check out this video of Linval Joseph against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round below. This was a great game he had against the leagues #1 rushing offense. While the Vikings got torched, Joseph did his part rather well. By the way, this is the 2nd time I have broken down tape aloud, so i am still getting my commentary down. Enjoy!!!