Drafted 44th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, there hasn’t been much on-court success to brag about when it comes to Kentucky’s Kelvin Joseph.
Most stories regarding Joseph this offseason have been less than positive. Joseph made national headlines in April when he was identified as a passenger in a vehicle involved in a drive-by shooting. Since then, the media and fans have wondered if disciplinary action will fall on Joseph, leaving a competitive hole at the cornerback position for Dallas.
Nonetheless, with training camp just over a week away, the team is focused on what they can control. And that ensures he makes the right leap from his rookie campaign to his sophomore season.
In his NFL debut last season, Joseph gave up two negative yards on five targets, while posting an impressive rush.
In ESPN’s latest article ranking the 15 best sophomores who could become stars in 2022, Joseph ranked ninth on the list.
“While first-round cornerbacks Greg Newsome II and Eric Stokes are also strong breakout candidates – and Pat Surtain II already qualifies as having busted – there is reason to believe that the second round of the Cowboys are off to a great sophomore campaign,” Pro Football Focus writer Mike Renner said. “It took a while for Joseph to see the field as a rookie in 2021, but it was worth the wait. On just 97 coverage snaps, he allowed seven catches on 15 targets for 49 yards with two pass breakups.
“What makes Joseph all the more intriguing is the unknown. He played all 757 snaps his entire college career. A top freshman at Louisiana, Joseph started at LSU and played 222 snaps in 2018 before being suspended for the Tigers bowling game and subsequently traded, landing at Kentucky, where he allowed just 271 yards in his only season with the team.
Jaycee Horn was the only other cornerback to make an appearance on the roster as he suffered a season-ending injury during the first half of the season.
Head coach Mike McCarthy expects Joseph to be “all the way” after suffering a “minor injury” earlier in the offseason.
However, what is still concerning are his legal affairs.
The Cowboys have reportedly taken up the matter privately with Joseph and allowed him to participate in team activities, even as the NFL and Dallas police continue their separate reviews.
McCarthy was asked about Joseph’s legal status in mid-May, just before Cowboys rookie minicamp.
“I don’t have an update on this situation and I understand the concern,” he told reporters at the time. “I just want you to know when the situation happened, we had a lot of internal conversations which were really deep. And based on the information we received, we felt it was important to support him, and he’s here every day. He’s had a pretty productive offseason so far.