The Detroit Lions are in the market to add a safety in the draft, and rising prospect Kerby Joseph is set to come in for a visit.
The Detroit Lions will have the top safety in the 2022 draft in for a visit this week, with Kyle Hamilton coming to town Friday. But they aren’t stopping there in getting a closer look at the class at the position, with Justin Melo of The Draft Network reporting Illinois safety Kerby Joseph has the Lions among his upcoming top-30 visits.
Per Melo, Joseph has visited the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars are next on his docket.
Joseph played some wide receiver a chunk of his career for the Fighting Illini, But he settled in full-time at safety and had a breakout season in 2021 (five interceptions, 57 total tackles, two fumble recoveries)
Kerby Joseph is a Day 2 safety option for the Lions
Joseph had a strong week at the Senior Bowl, then he posted a 38.5-inch vertical at the combine. He can be considered a bit raw, based on just one season as a full-time starter, but he looks like a nice fit for Aaron Glenn’s defensive scheme in Detroit.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com backed up the sentiment from Pride of Detroit’s Erik Schlitt in his assessment of Joseph.
"He lacks prototypical instincts as a single-high safety but that might be due to a lack of experience. He’s fluid in space but needs to play with better anticipation. Joseph is missing the demeanor and tackle strength for the box and is likely to be viewed as less versatile than some other safeties in the class, but he has potential in single-high and split-safety alignments."
Tracy Walker is a fine safety, but he has just not forced many turnovers in his career. Joseph showed signs of being a ballhawk last season, and as a Day 2 pick with room to grow he’d be a player Glenn and defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant could mold into an ideal running mate for Walker.