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Pro Football Focus labels Linval Joseph the “prototypical” 1-technique tackle

What does that mean? They do a good job of explaining it.

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NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

We all know that defensive tackle Linval Joseph is one of the best at his position in the National Football League, and has been since he signed with the Minnesota Vikings during the 2014 offseason. According to Pro Football Focus, not only is Joseph one of the best in the league, he’s apparently the standard that all other “1-technique” defensive tackles should be measured by.

PFF put together a list of the “prototypical” players for each defensive line technique, and has Joseph down as the prototypical 1-tackle. The folks from PFF give a nice description of what the difference between positions like 1-technique and 3-technique and the other defensive line spots in case you’re not totally sure what they mean by that.

Here’s what they had to say about Joseph:

In the past, this spot has been primarily a run-stuffing force, but with the league trending ever-more pass heavy, 1-technique defensive tackles have to be able to bring something when it comes to pass rush or be replaced on third downs. Harrison – our 0-tech prototype – could also easily be the prototype for this alignment, as it’s where he finds himself most often for the Giants. He was at that alignment on 60.1 percent of his snaps in 2017 compared to just 8.0 percent at 0-tech, but listing him as the 0-tech prototype allows us to throw some love in the direction of Minnesota’s Joseph, who does bring more as a pass rusher than Harrison.

Like Harrison, Joseph is a force against the run, with an 89.0 PFF grade in that facet of the game last year, but he also notched 30 total pressures and was on the field for 414 pass-rushing snaps over the season, almost 100 more than Harrison.

Joseph has shown an increase in his ability to get to the quarterback in his time in Minnesota. He has 11 sacks in his four years with the Vikings, compared to the nine he had in his four seasons with the New York Giants. But his biggest strength is his play against the run, and he’s given the Vikings the kind of run-stuffing force that we saw when Pat Williams was a member of the team in the latter half of the 2000s.

Joseph is going to be with the team for quite a while, as he signed a long-term extension with the team prior to the start of the 2017 season. We’ve seen big defensive tackles like Joseph have fairly lengthy, productive careers in the NFL. Here’s hoping that Joseph can continue to be that kind of force for the purple for many years yet to come.