Though it was a late fourth-round selection, Shaw was one of the more well-known prospects, though it wasn't for the right reasons. 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 continuing a fight with his girlfriend.
Because Shaw only played in three games (plus the Senior Bowl), scouts spent more time focusing on tape from his prior years when Shaw was an All-Conference DB at USC while playing both cornerback and safety.
Bengals wanted to trade up for Shaw
"He’s a good person. And I spent time with Josh and I’m comfortable with Josh as a person. He’s very sharp. He understands he made a serious mistake and it won't happen again," said Bengals DB coach Vance Joseph.
Had Shaw not had the off-field incident and been injured/suspended most of his senior year, he may have been drafted significantly higher than where Cincinnati got him. As it turned out, where the Bengals got Shaw was right around where he was projected to go in the draft.
- NFL.com's Lance Zierlein wasn't too high on Shaw, giving him a Round 5 or 6 grade. Shaw was, however, ranked the 91st-overall in NFL.com's prospect rankings.
- ESPN's Mel Kiper wasn't too high on Shaw either, ranking him 138th in his final rankings. Kiper's partner in crime, Todd McShay, ranked Shaw as his 171st-best prospect.
- Bleacher Report's Matt Miller was a little more favorable of Shaw, ranking him as the 112th-best prospect as a free safety.
- Mocking the Draft was also high on Shaw, ranking him as their 97th-overall prospect.
- CBS Sports had Shaw ranked as their No. 87 prospect, three spots behind Bengals third-round pick Paul Dawson.
If you average all six of those rankings, Dawson had a draft ranking of 116, meaning he should have been taken somewhere around the mid-to-late fourth round. Given the Bengals drafted him with the 120th pick, this was one of the few picks that was on par in terms of value where the selection was made.