Josh Shaw is now in Cincinnati for his first NFL minicamp.
The Bengals are holding their rookie minicamp this weekend, and Shaw is one of several players getting their first taste of professional football. What position he'll play however remains to be seen. The 6-foot, 201-pound Shaw played mostly cornerback in college, but has the measurables of an NFL safety .
Even Shaw's new position coach, Vance Joseph, agrees he could become an NFL safety, but plans on using him at corner to start with.
"He’s got some safety possibilities, Joseph said, via Bengals.com "He’s a big athlete. Strong. 26 reps (of 225 pounds). A 4.39 40. There it is. A good, big athlete."
Shaw doesn't have much tape from his senior year after missing the first 10 games due to an ankle injury and suspension from lying about how it occurred. It's a well-documented story that Shaw has moved past as he begins his NFL career.
Shaw managed to salvage his draft stock with a great showing on the all-star circuit this offseason, beginning with the Shrine Game in January. There, he was one of the best defenders all week as he locked opposing receivers down and made plays like this:
Shaw will be one of the more intriguing rookies to watch during training camp. He probably won't get much run at either safety or corner as a rookie with both positions stacked this year.
However, both starting corners (Leon Hall and Adam Jones) and starting safeties (George Iloka and Reggie Nelson) will be free agents next year. It's critical that the Bengals find Shaw's best position in the NFL this year, as he could easily become a starter or key backup at whichever position he plays next year.