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Scouting Jets offensive tackle Dieugot Joseph

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NFL: Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout January and February, we’ve been taking an in-depth look at some of the players the Jets have signed to futures deals since the end of the season. We continue today with a look at former Vikings offensive tackle Dieugot Joseph.

The 24-year old Joseph is listed at 6’6” and 300 pounds and was undrafted out of Florida International in 2017. Joseph has yet to play in an NFL regular season game, but was on the Ravens’ active roster for three weeks as a rookie.

Background

Joseph was recruited to FIU as a 230-pound two-star defensive end prospect having only started playing football at 15. The Panthers soon realized he could be a good prospect on the offensive line so they converted him and he became a three-year starter at left tackle.

In his sophomore year, Joseph started 10 games, including the last eight. However, he was banged up in his junior year and limited to four starts. He bounced back in his senior year to start every game, though, and was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection.

Heading into the draft, Joseph was regarded as a mid-to-late round prospect but disappointingly went unselected. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Bears and ended up on their practice squad after being released in final cuts.

Early in his rookie season, he was poached from the Bears’ practice squad by the Ravens but was inactive for personal reasons during his requisite three weeks there and then got released and ended up on their practice squad.

Rather than re-sign with the Ravens at the end of the season, Joseph signed a futures deal with the Vikings but again was released in final cuts and ended up on the Jets’ practice squad.

He stayed on the Jets’ practice squad all year, other than being released in October and then re-signed the following week. The Jets signed him to a futures deal at the end of the season.

Now let’s take a look at what Joseph brings to the table, divided into categories.

Measurables/Athleticism

Joseph is regarded is a good athlete although he fell short of the impressive numbers he was guaranteeing ahead of his pro day. He ran a 5.21 40-yard dash and posted a 31-inch vertical, but his broad jump and three cone drill were mediocre and his bench press and short shuttle were below average. Those numbers perhaps don’t do him justice and may have been the reason behind him going undrafted.

He has a solid frame with long arms and strong hands and could probably add some bulk.

Usage

Joseph played exclusively as a left tackle in college, but worked at right tackle some of the time in camp with the Vikings. He played nine snaps at right tackle in the last game of the 2018 preseason but otherwise was at left tackle in each of his preseason appearances.

There was some talk that perhaps Joseph could move inside, but that hasn’t happened yet and would probably only serve to mitigate his length, which is one of his best traits.

Pass Protection

Joseph posted good numbers in college in terms of how much pressure he surrendered and only gave up three sacks in his senior year. He fared similarly in his limited preseason action, only giving up a few pressures and never being cleanly beaten one-on-one.

Joseph can sometimes look a bit stiff or mechanical but does show some promise in terms of his ability to mirror and stay in front of his man:

At times, Joseph can tend to over-rely on his length and his initial punch which he uses to buy himself time to anticipate the pass rushers’ move. However, these are good tools that could provide him some kind of foundation if he can develop his other skills. His length helps him to recover and he can battle to redirect his man upfield if he loses a leverage advantage around the corner.

Joseph has shown that he can be susceptible to a bull rush and probably still needs to work on his base and upper body strength:

Run Blocking

Joseph’s strength can also be an issue at the point of attack, where he can sometimes be stood up and driven into the backfield:

He can sometimes get a surge going though, if working in combination with the guard to his inside shoulder or in short yardage situations:

Joseph also shows the athleticism to get out in front of plays and some ability to lock onto blocks in space, taking good angles at the second level and locking onto his target:

The effort always seems to be there with Joseph too, as he plays to the whistle and stays on his man most of the time.

Footwork/Technique

Joseph is regarded as someone with good fundamentals but scouts identified plenty of things that he needed to work upon.

These included a tendency to put his hands on the outside and to lean into blocks rather than initially moving his feet to get a solid base under him. Based on his preseason footage, these are still things he could benefit from working on.

Penalties

Joseph was hit with one penalty in preseason action, as he got into his stance too quickly and was called for a false start.

In college, he averaged five penalties in each of his seasons as a starter. As noted, if he keeps his hands too wide, there’s a danger he’ll be called for holding from time to time and there were a few examples of him pushing the envelope in preseason action.

Special Teams

Joseph has barely played on special teams, but has had a few snaps on the placekicking unit and as a blocker on the kick return unit. He hasn’t made any meaningful positive or negative contributions.

Instincts/Intelligence

Scouts have praised Joseph’s awareness although there were a few plays where he seemed not to realize when a play wasn’t over or had been redirected over to his side of the field. He does a good job here as the Vikings pick up a stunt, though:

However, a few plays later, a blocker came unblocked off the edge for a sack as the Vikings did a much worse job of re-setting their protection.

Attitude

Joseph is a hard-working player who spent some time as a captain in college. He doesn’t seem to have had any off-field issues, although the personal reasons for him being away from the Ravens having signed for them are unclear.

Injuries

Joseph has been healthy since 2015, but was banged-up during his junior year. He played in all 11 games, but only started four that year, although he did play over 500 snaps and graded out better than in his sophomore season.

Scheme Fit

The scouts say that Joseph is athletic enough to be a fit in a zone blocking system and that seemed to be the case based on his preseason performances. That would make him a good fit for the kind of system Frank Pollack is known to favor.

However, he’ll need to convince the coaching staff he can pass protect efficiently to get on the field.

Conclusions

Some of Joseph’s film was reminiscent of Ben Ijalana in terms of his combination of length and athleticism and pass blocking potential. There are a few similarities within their measurables too, although Ijalana was heavier and that made him stronger at the point of attack.

While comparing Joseph to Ijalana might not seem flattering because Ijalana ended up being something of a disappointment with the Jets, he had good potential as a young player and the foundation of a potentially solid swing tackle-type.

If the Jets can do a better job of coaching him up, Joseph has a chance to earn himself similar opportunities for playing time. They need to sharpen up Joseph’s technique and get him to bulk up a bit. If he can make the most of his reps, perhaps Joseph could be a surprise contender to push for a roster spot in 2019.