With the No. 160 overall pick in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens selected Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade. A former 247Sports Composite five-star recruit, Wade was the No. 2 ranked cornerback and No. 17 overall player in the recruiting class of 2017.
Wade’s draft stock took a tumble after a rough 2020 season with the Buckeyes. Had he entered his name in last year’s NFL Draft, he would have likely been a first-round pick.
After he was selected, Wade talked to the team’s website about always having a chip on his shoulder.
“I’ve had a chip on my shoulder since the 2020 season ended, and the things that I’ve been through,” Wade said. “I’m always going to have a chip on my shoulder regardless. I know what I can do. They know I have first-round talent and I know I have first-round talent. Right now it’s just putting it on the field and showing it every day. I had a lot of things going on, family situations, injuries, surgeries, turf toe, knee problems, people dying. At the end of the day, it’s called adversity. That’s something I’ve been through. Everybody’s got a different story. All you have to do is keep on living, and keep on having fun, do God’s will at the end of the day. I can’t wait to be around those guys – Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey. I can’t wait to learn from them. I know the Ravens have a great secondary for sure.”
Even with the tumble in the draft, NFL Network’s Peter Schrager explained why there’s a silver lining to it all.
“Covid happened, an injury happened, surgery happened, a knee problem happened, a toe happened, a family situation happened, 2020 was not great for his draft stock,” Schrager said on NFL Network’s coverage of the NFL Draft. “But look where he ends up, with Wink Martindale and the Baltimore Ravens. It might be the best situation for him.”
While there were certainly productive moments for Wade last season, the corner largely struggled when matched up against top-level receivers. Wade saw a lot of Indiana wide receiver Ty Fryfogle when he caught seven passes for 218 yards and three touchdowns against Ohio State in November and was a part of the defense that allowed 400 passing yards to Clemson — including 139 yards and two touchdowns to Cornell Powell — and 464 passing yards against Alabama — 215 yards and three touchdowns went to DeVonta Smith — in the College Football Playoff.
“Had he come out last year, he probably would have been a first-round pick, at least in the conversation for a first-round pick,” NFL insider Ian Rapoport said earlier on Saturday during NFL Draft Kickoff. “He tried to do the right thing, went back to college, just a really brutal year. I talked to several scouts and evaluators about Wade. As one said, this year’s film is really bad. The (Pro Day) workout is just okay. I know that the scouts on this evaluator’s team just didn’t really like him. There’s some upset. “He put on some good tape last year, but this year it wasn’t good. I would still expect him to go at some point today.”
After redshirting his true freshman season at Ohio State in 2017, Wade played in 32 games with the Buckeyes from 2018-19. During that time, he totaled 91 tackles (five for loss), 18 pass breakups, six interceptions and three forced fumbles.