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NFL Free Agency: Would Davin Joseph Be A Good Fit In Arizona?

Davin Joseph going head-to-head with defensive tackles could be a welcome sight for Arizona Cardinals fans.
Davin Joseph going head-to-head with defensive tackles could be a welcome sight for Arizona Cardinals fans.

Last week we gave you a breakdown of all the offensive tackles that were noted on the CBS top 50 free agents list. For this next week, we will be focusing on the three guards that came up and give you info on each one of them.

To start it off, let's take a look at Davin Joseph, a guard that was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2006 in the first round and could be looking for a new stadium to grace his presence with.

Davin Joseph is the best guard available in this free agency market according to CBS and he comes in as the 26th best free agent overall. Known as a mauler, Joseph has the ability to drive with his outstanding strength and get into the secondary while pulling tackles and defensive ends.

Here is the Scouts, Inc. bio for Joseph:

Joseph is a powerful drive blocker who has the upper-body strength to control and steer opponents and enough initial quickness and agility to get out on the pull or to climb to the second level. He is a decent knee bender who can keep his pad level down to leverage blocks and can roll his hips on contact to deliver a solid blow in small spaces. He has adequate lateral range in pass protection and can sink his hips and get his weight shifted and back to the inside to react to counter moves.

To me, Joseph sounds exactly like the guy the Arizona Cardinals were hoping to get in Alan Faneca when they signed him before the 2010 season. He is only decent in pass protection given that he lacks the quickness to deal with some of the faster tackles, but when it comes to being a pulling guard and a run blocker, Joseph is one of the best.

As far as numbers go, Davin Joseph gave up two sacks, four hits and 20 quarterback pressures on 375 pass protection snaps last season. That is a pressure rate of 6.9%.

For comparison, here are some numbers for both Deuce Lutui (who plays right guard, much like Joseph) and for Alan Faneca (who plays a similar style to Joseph).

Lutui gave up two sacks, three hits and 20 pressures on 642 snaps. His pressure rate was an astounding 3.9%.

Alan Faneca was not very far behind. For his 2010 season, Faneca allowed three sacks, five hits and 26 pressures. His pressure rate was 5.2%.

On top of all of these numbers, both Faneca and Lutui started in all 16 games last season while Joseph went down after 11 with a broken foot. Joseph has also had arthroscopic knee surgery in the past.

So should the Arizona Cardinals make an investment in Davin Joseph? He is only 27 years old and could improve with some good coaching, so I say yes. The Cardinals are looking for a mauler than they can stick their halfback behind and let him charge down the field. Joseph could easily fit that role. The broken foot injury is more of a freak accident, while the knee surgery was apparently very minor so those are not of a concern to me.

With Faneca's retirement, Ken Whisenhunt, Russ Grimm and Rod Graves will need a new guard. Yes, the guy could be Rex Hadnot, but why not let the buck stop right here with Davin Joseph? After all, he has already made a Pro Bowl (2008) and has a lot to learn. With his signing, they may be able to afford to keep Lutui as well since it is well known that tackles are paid much more than guards.

A potential lineup could look like this (from left to right):


One of them will have to adjust and maneuver to the left side, but that should not be a huge issue for two pros of their caliber.

So what do you think Cardinals fans? Would Davin Joseph be a wise signing for Arizona?