Following injury, the Detroit Lions struggled with depth at the cornerback position in 2014, and quite frankly, they were fortunate not to get burned worse. This offseason, given the uncertainty surrounding the recoveries of Bill Bentley and Nevin Lawson as well as the return of free agent Rashean Mathis, Detroit would probably like to add a few players to the roster.
Given his bigger body, Josh Shaw comes to mind, considering he can play either cornerback or safety. Those variables make him an interesting combo platter worthy of late consideration in the 2015 NFL Draft even despite a few character questions.
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Notable Combine Measurables
40-Yd Dash: 4.44 seconds
20-Yd Shuttle 2.59 seconds
3-Cone Drill: 7.01 seconds
Vertical Jump: 37 1/2 inches
Broad Jump: 10’10”
Bench Press: 225 pounds 26 times.
Traits and Projected Round
Shaw is a fluid athlete that moves well to the ball and has excellent hips. He has great size and a strong, solid frame which could help him play either cornerback or safety at the next level, if not flash at both. If there’s one question about Shaw on the field, it’s the fact that he shies away from contact and struggles with closing speed, and will need to prove his salt in this vain if he wants to play at all at the safety position at the next level.
Off the field, character questions persist about what happened last fall, when Shaw lied about saving his nephew from a pool and injuring his ankle. The story turned out to be a hoax, and Shaw was actually fleeing after a dispute with his girlfriend. He’s begun the process of building back equity, but many will wonder if they can ever trust a man who would so obviously manipulate the truth.
Considering his Senior Bowl, combine and solid size, Shaw could punch his ticket for selection in the middle rounds instead of late. Realistically, he probably won’t come off the board before the fifth or sixth round.
Why the Detroit Lions Could Draft Josh Shaw
Martin Mayhew has never shied away from drafting bigger corners or defensive backs who he believes can be aggressive and tough within Detroit’s scheme. Shaw certainly fits the bill, and given he showed enough speed at the combine to go with his stocky frame, could give the Lions a solid corner to pair with Dairus Slay that could be devastating in press coverage as well as the bump and run.
Outside of the isolated incident, Shaw has been a model citizen, and isn’t the type of character concern the Lions have dealt with in the past, meaning the team could see him as a value too good to pass up at some point later during the draft, especially considering the quarterbacks they face in the NFC North. Mayhew and company may look at Shaw as a character improvement given how he’s faced his problems and put them behind him.
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