Karl Joseph speaks to reporters during a rookie minicamp on Friday. (Jeff Chiu/AP)

Karl Joseph speaks to reporters during a rookie minicamp on Friday. (Jeff Chiu/AP)

Raiders’ top pick not yet ready to practice

ALAMEDA — First-round pick Karl Joseph will have to wait a little bit longer until he can show the Oakland Raiders what he’s capable of doing on the field.

As the Raiders held their first rookie minicamp practice on Friday, Joseph was merely a spectator as he continues to rehabilitate the torn ACL in his right knee that cut his final season at West Virginia short and raised questions about how high he’d be drafted.

The Raiders had no concerns as they believe Joseph will be completely healthy for his rookie season. Joseph said his rehab is on schedule and he plans to be ready to get back on the field when training camp starts in late July.

“It’s tough, just not being able to go out there and practice and learn the stuff, but I am still learning in meeting rooms,” Joseph said. “Right now, I am just focusing on rehabbing and getting healthy.”

The Raiders have big plans for Joseph, who is being counted on to replace the retired Charles Woodson. Joseph had five interceptions in four games before getting hurt last season and is known as a hard hitter despite his small size of 5-foot-10, 207 pounds.

Coach Jack Del Rio said it is important that Joseph make the most of this time even if he is unable to practice.

“We’re still able to walk it and talk it so we’re doing some of that,” he said. “It’s definitely valuable time to have. We don’t get enough time with these guys and we’ve got to maximize the time we do get and be really efficient with it.”

Del Rio even picked out Joseph’s number, assigning him the No. 42 that Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott wore in a career that included two seasons with the Raiders.

“There have been a few good ones in that number,” Del Rio said.

Joseph wore No. 8 in college and needed a new number as a pro. He said No. 42 was under consideration and he was happy when Del Rio picked it out. Joseph called it an honor and said he would represent it as best he can.

Joseph wasn’t the only Oakland draft pick with questions about his knee. Some teams reportedly believed that second-round pick Jihad Ward would need arthroscopic surgery on his knee before he could play. The Raiders were confident that wasn’t necessary and Ward was on the field and looked active in his first practice as a pro.

“He looked pretty good, right?” Del Rio said. “Don’t trust all those reports out there. We felt pretty good about our reports. He looks terrific. He’s very athletic.”

The Raiders had six draft picks, six other non-rookie roster players and 17 undrafted free agents on the field, along with several others there on a tryout basis.

This is the one chance for the rookies to get on the field and start learning the systems without the veterans. In just over a week, the Raiders will start organized team activities and then they will hold a three-day mandatory minicamp in June so there is little time for the new players to get acclimated.

“It was fast,” third-round linebacker Shilique Calhoun said. “That’s the biggest thing for me. The transition is a little different because of how fast the game is and how fast the game is played. Then also, retaining knowledge. You have to be able to retain it pretty fast as well.”charles woodson shilique calhounJack Del Riokarl josephNFLOakland Raiders

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco police investigated the scene of a police shooting near Varney Place and Third Street on May 7. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD shooting may prompt new body camera rules for plainclothes cops

Police chief says incident ‘should not have happened’

Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference about a $12 billion package bolstering the state’s response to the homelessness crisis at the Kearney Vista Apartments on May 11, 2021 in San Diego, California. (K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)
Newsom promises sweeping change in California’s $267-billion budget

John Myers Los Angeles Times California would embark on the most ambitious… Continue reading

Despite the pandemic, San Francisco has ended the fiscal year with a budget surplus. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Better than expected tax revenues leave city with $157.3M surplus for this year

As the fiscal year nears an end and Mayor London Breed prepares… Continue reading

Passengers board a BART train bound for the San Francisco Airport at Powell Street station. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
BART bumps up service restoration to August 30, offers fare discounts

Rail agency breaks pandemic ridership records, prepares to welcome more passengers

Ashley and Michelle Monterrosa hold a photo of their brother Sean Monterrosa, who was killed by a Vallejo police officer early Tuesday morning, as they are comforted at a memorial rally at the 24th Street Mission BART plaza on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
State Department of Justice to investigate Sean Monterrosa shooting by Vallejo police

Attorney General Rob Bonta steps in after Solano County DA declines case

Most Read