Will The Kansas City Chiefs Draft Fighting Illini Prospect?

Illinois Fighting Illini defensive back Kerby Joseph (25) celebrates an interception to win the game Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
Illinois Fighting Illini defensive back Kerby Joseph (25) celebrates an interception to win the game Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports /

You can never have enough guys at any position but with the possible loss of Tyrann Mathieu, the Chiefs could be looking for a fresh face to make plays in the secondary.

The possible hole left behind from current safety Tyrann Mathieu will never be able to be completely filled. The Honey Badger is another player that has come to Kansas City and left an impression on all Chiefs fans both on and off the football field. He has been the Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs defense and will forever be the one who brought “Championship Swagger” to K.C.

Moving on to a potential candidate to place in the secondary, a name the Chiefs might be interested in has been playing not too far away in Champaign County, Illinois. Safety Kerby Joseph was a three star recruit and is a fourth year player for the Fighting Illini. After his 2021 season, Joseph earned first team all Big Ten by conference media and second team all Big Ten by conference coaches for a defensive back. Joseph was tied for second in the nation with five interceptions during the 2021 season.

Kerby Joseph measurements:

  • Height: 6’ 1”
  • Weight: 200 lbs.
  • Age: 21
  • Class: Junior

Illinois Career:

  • 2021: 57 Tot Tackles (41 Solo, 16 Ast), 1 TFL, 1 Sack, 5 Int, 2 Pass Def, 3 Fum Rec
  • 2020: 19 Tot Tackles (12 Solo, 7 Ast)
  • 2019: 30 Tot Tackles (13 Solo, 17 Ast), 3 Pass Def, 1 TFL
  • 2018: 10 Tot Tackles (9 Solo, 1 Ast), 1 Pass Def, 1 Forced Fumble

During Kerby Joseph’s time in Illinois, it was apparent that he was still growing and learning as a player. Having up and down seasons throughout his college career, it wasn’t until 2021 where he had his breakout season that put him on the map for NFL scouts around the league. Coming out of high school, Joseph was recruited as an athlete. At the University of Illinois, he was asked to play more than one position. Joseph served as a wide receiver, special teams player, and eventually settled into his role as a safety on defense.

The tape on Joseph shows an instinctive defensive back with an eye for the football. Kerby Joseph is a ball hawking safety who is just starting to scratch the service of what he is capable of doing on the football field. With an eye for finding the ball in the air, Joseph has great closing speeds and the ability to make up ground and get a hand in the receivers face to allow him to break up a pass or come down with an interception. To go along with his ball hawking skills, Joseph also shows us he is capable of moving downhill to attack ball carriers or even the occasional blitz to disrupt plays behind the line of scrimmage.

Kerby Joseph is an athletic playmaker in the secondary and the exact kind of player the Chiefs could be looking for to replace the one they have currently. His skill set allows for versatility and his size matches up well with opponents. Having played on a team with less national exposure in college, Jones will see his value rise throughout the off season and draft process as teams learn more about him. Joseph could be the next big name to control the defense for K.C.

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