2023 NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Notre Dame S Brandon Joseph

From now until the 2023 NFL Draft, we will scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top 10-picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I will be profiling Notre Dame S Brandon Joseph.

#16 Brandon Joseph/S Notre Dame – 6003, 202 lbs. (Redshirt Junior)

Combine/Pro Day


Player Ht/Wt Hand Size Arm Length Wingspan
Brandon Joseph 6003, 202 9 30 7/8 N/A
40-Yard Dash 10-Yard Dash Short Shuttle 3-Cone
4.62 1.56 4.23 7.08
Broad Jump Vertical Bench Press
9’10” 30.5 17


— Good frame and muscle
— Downhill, attacking player who fills the alley in the run game
— Flashes hit power when able to square up target, uses size to wrap up when working in a line
— Shows closing speed and ability to attack and finish with the ball in the air
— Versatile defender who aligned all over
— Aggressive reroutes and jams over slot in short-yardage/goal line situations
— Appears to have leadership traits
— Flashed ball skills early in his career with good hands, made highlight-reel interceptions
— Has some punt return value
— Still young with room to grow but comes with experience
— Had to juggle playing under new DCs and new schemes, was most comfortable in 2020, a strong statistical season

The Bad

— Average athlete who lacks great foot speed
— Shows some tightness in his hips changing directions when coming downhill and can miss tackles
— Lacked impact plays in the run game
— Production waned in 2022, INT numbers fell off throughout his career
— Doesn’t have top-end or high-level physical traits
— Can disappear for stretches on tape


— Turned 22 in February, 31 career starts
— Career: 159 tackles (2.5 TFL) 10 INTs, 1 sack, 1 FF, 22 career punt returns for a 13.3 yard average
— 2022: 30 tackles (zero TFL) 1 INT, 1 FF
— Spent first three seasons at Northwestern before transferring to Notre Dame for 2022, cited desire to be drafted higher as reason for transfer
— Initially committed to Texas Tech, decommitted after Kliff Kingsbury was fired
— Had six INTs in 2020 (tied FBS lead) and 79 tackles in 2021 before production fell off in 2022
— Team captain at Northwestern as a redshirt sophomore in 2021
— Three-star recruit from College Station, Texas, chose Northwestern over Arizona, Colorado and virtually every Ivy League school (Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, Penn, and Yale)
— Grandmother, who inspired Joseph throughout his football career, died of COVID in 2020

Tape Breakdown

Joseph’s career has fallen off after a big 2020 that saw him tie for the FBS lead with six interceptions. His star burned bright that year, highlighted by this ridiculous one-handed interception of Justin Fields in the 2020 Big Ten Title game. Take a look.

Joseph possesses a good frame and when coming downhill in a line, he shows hit power. Two clips. One, watch him fill the alley against TCU and force this fumble. And in the second, he closes on the goal line to break this pass up.

But similar to Texas A&M’s Antonio Johnson, I see stiffness in his game when trying to change directions coming downhill. Joseph has size but falls off too many tackles. On paper, he’s best-suited as a strong safety but the missed tackles aren’t going to keep him on the field.

His career has fallen off since that 2020 season and he went especially quiet after transferring. To his credit, he did get on the field right away at Notre Dame but it’s worth asking if he should’ve transferred and definitely if he should’ve declared early. He had two more years left.


Joseph is like Antonio Johnson, a versatile defender in college (Johnson a little more so, especially over slot) who has size and hit power but has tightness in his lower half and isn’t a tremendous open-field athlete. Joseph will be a strong safety in the NFL but lacks the ceiling to be a high-end starter. My NFL comparison for him is Dean Marlowe.

Projection: Mid-Late Day Three

Depot Draft Grade: 6.5 – End Of Roster/Practice Squad (6th-7th Rounder)

Games Watched: at Ohio State (2022), at North Carolina (2022), at USC (2022), vs BYU (2022), INT Cut-Ups

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