The 2015 NFL Draft is 11 months away, but it’s never too early to look ahead, especially if you’re ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper, Jr. The long time media pundit released his list of top cornerbacks this week, with USC’s Josh Shaw coming in at No. 2, just behind Oregon’s Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.
Shaw has played two years at USC after transferring from Florida after the 2011 season, and has been one of the Trojans’ most consistent defensive players since taking over for Torin Harris at corner late in 2012.
In 14 games as a junior, Shaw had four interceptions and 67 total tackles, while scoring two touchdowns in road wins over Hawaii and Cal. The second score came on a blocked punt by fullback Soma Vainuku, capping off a huge first half explosion for the Trojans.
Shaw can play both cornerback and safety, making him a versatile option for NFL teams. Perhaps a natural safety, there’s been some buzz this offseason as to whether or not Shaw would play safety this upcoming season, but his biggest value for SC is at corner, where the Trojans lack experience.
At 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, Shaw has the size and skill set to be a physical corner in the NFL, which goes a long way in his No. 2 ranking from Kiper Jr.
Other cornerbacks listed in the top 10 include Oregon State’s Steven Nelson, Washington’s Marcus Peters and Stanford’s Alex Carter.