Now, they've now announced Shaw has been signed to his first NFL contract. It will be a four-year deal worth about $2.7 million. Because Shaw was taken in the middle of the fourth round, he'll have a great shot at making the final 53-man roster. Teams typically don't cut fourth-round picks during their rookie year. The good news for Shaw is he's better than most players who went ahead of him in the fourth round.
Shaw to begin career at CB, could switch later
It's unclear what Josh Shaw's long-term position in the NFL will be, but he'll begin at cornerback.
Shaw was an all-conference player at USC while playing both cornerback and safety. The Bengals love having versatile players who can play multiple positions on defense, which made Shaw very attractive to them, to the point they almost traded up to get him.
Shaw began his college career as a Florida Gator, where he appeared in 10 games in 2011 and recorded 22 tackles. Due to health concerns with his father and grandfather, Shaw moved back to California and the NCAA granted him a hardship waiver to play immediately for the Trojans.
There, Shaw started out at strong safety but eventually moved to corner, where he's played ever since. He started the final seven games of 2012 while notching 30 tackles, six pass deflections and two interceptions.
Shaw became a full-time starter in 2013, but in the 14 games he started, 11 were at corner and three at free safety. He notched 67 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, seven pass defenses and four interceptions. He had a pick-six vs. Cal and returned a blocked punt against Cal for another defensive score.
During his 2014 senior season, Shaw was a defensive co-captain for the Trojans. However, he ended up being suspended for 10 games and his reputation took a hit after he injured himself jumping off a balcony to avoid a fight with his girlfriend.
The Bengals won't need Shaw much as a rookie, but he could easily win a starting job in 2016 with several starting defensive backs possibly leaving the team. The first thing both sides need to figure out is what his best NFL position will be. He'll be one of the more intriguing players to watch during training camp and the preseason.