Josh Shaw NFL Draft Preview: Stock, Mock Drafts and Projections


Josh Shaw faced an uphill battle after controversy cost him the bulk of his final season, but the defensive back has worked his way back into a middle round NFL draft grade.

RELATED: The 50 best draft picks to come out of USC

Why Josh Shaw will get drafted

Despite the off-the-field concerns, Shaw is a versatile defensive back would could contribute in multiple spots across the secondary in the NFL.

Moreover, scouts have been consistent in their determination that the incident — lying about the origin of ankle injuries he sustained leaping from a third floor balcony — which resulted in his 10-game suspension is not a major red flag given an otherwise clean record.

What Josh Shaw did at USC

After transferring from Florida in 2012, Shaw became a major figure in the USC secondary almost immediately. Though originally a safety, Shaw answered the call when the Trojans’ cornerbacks became dangerously thin. He started the final seven games on the outside that year.

Established as a cornerback in 2013, Shaw’s performance earned him USC’s Defensive Perimeter Player of the Year award and an All-Pac-12 honorable mention. He had four interceptions, including a pick six, and blocked a punt for a touchdown on special teams.

As a senior, Shaw missed the first ten games because he lied about saving his nephew from drowning in a pool when he had actually injured his ankles while fleeing a non-violent domestic situation. In three appearances in late 2014, he tallied 11 tackles, including a team-best nine in the bowl game against Nebraska.

What the scouts are saying about Josh Shaw

Shaw’s versatility is a double-edged sword.

Oct 10, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans cornerback Josh Shaw (6) during the game against the Arizona Wildcats at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Arizona 38-31. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On the one hand, scouts praise his experience defending on the outside and slot as a corner and inside as a safety.

As a cornerback, he offers above-average size. As a safety, he is rangy enough to cover receivers and tight ends.

On the other hand, Shaw might fall somewhere in between being a good cornerback and a good safety, with limitations in both spots.

Though he eased doubts about his speed by posting the third fastest 40-yard dash time among cornerbacks, there remain concerns about his fluidity.

Rob Rang of CBS, who is notably high on Shaw and argues a place for him in the third or even second rounds,

“While certainly possessing the straight-line speed to handle perimeter duties, Shaw lacks the change of direction that I believe is critical to success at cornerback,” says Rob Rang of CBS Sports.

Rang, however, is notably high on Shaw as a safety and argues a place for him in the third or even second rounds. He called him “instinctive, highly physical and a reliable tackler.”

Lance Zierlein disagrees about the physicality of Shaw’s play. The analyst says Shaw is “not physical enough to play in the box, so he will likely have to be a Cover-2 cornerback or free safety as a pro.”

Where Josh Shaw is going in Mock Drafts

  • Lance Zierlein/Chad Reuter ( Washington Redskins, 4th round, 105th overall
  • Walter Cherepinsky (Walter Football): Atlanta Falcons, 4th round, 107th overall
  • DraftTek (Computer Algorithm): Atlanta Falcons, 3rd round, 73rd overall

Now’s your turn to put on your scouting cap. Where do you see Shaw being drafted? Vote in our poll below and sound off in the comments.

Where will Josh Shaw go in the NFL draft?

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