At a certain point on day three of the NFL Draft, value becomes too good to pass up. Such was the case for the Baltimore Ravens when Shaun Wade was on the board in the fifth-round.
In spite of his major fall down the board, the Ravens scooped up Wade and brought him to the mix in what is a loaded defensive backfield. The move may have shocked some, but it’s interesting in that the team can add potentially another steal to the mix on their defensive side of the ball.
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In the aftermath of the pick, the prevailing thought is that while Wade has some things to learn, he’s the kind of player who could benefit from the place where he was selected and the franchise he’s going to.
Getting Shaun Wade in the 5th round is a tremendous pick by the Ravens.
He was considered a first rounder going into the 2020 season before he struggled moving outside. But he was a lockdown CB playing the nickel role in 2019, and this is a perfect fit.
— Garrett Downing (@gdowning14) May 1, 2021
The Ravens need to find a way to develop Wade, but the believe is they could have scored another solid talent in order to help them build a strong and deep defense. As far as what the Ravens have done lately, that is par for the course for their successful team building plan.
How Ravens Plan to Use Wade
While Wade may have fallen down the board thanks to the fact that he had a rough 2020 season, that doesn’t mean he can’t head to the NFL and be a part of something special. Arguably, with the Ravens and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, he is heading to a spot which will allow him a good chance of making it.
As was explained after the pick, the Ravens want to put Wade on the slot and also use him as a potential safety, perhaps making it look as if the team wants to use him like the Buckeyes did when they had success with him in 2019.
Ravens see Shaun Wade as a slot CB/safety hybrid (which should mirror his 2019 role at Ohio State), and will use him as such. And the hope he brings value in a number of areas, including as a blitzer.
Tough couple days for Wade. But he’s going to a good place.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 1, 2021
Half of the battle in terms of fit in the league is how comfortable a player is. To this end, the Ravens could have been the perfect landing spot for Wade.
Wade Stats and Highlights
There is no question that Wade has everything he needs to thrive and survive on the next level when he gets there. In 2020, he was the Big Ten defensive back of the year and was also a multiple-time All-American at Ohio State. Statistically, Wade was just as good during his time in the Big Ten. Wade put up 91 tackles, 2 sacks, 6 interceptions and 18 passes defended. He was a gritty competitor and the kind of player who could turn into a star in the right NFL system.
What does Wade’s tape look like? Here’s a look:
Obviously, Wade has some things to prove in the NFL once he arrives, but the Ravens feel as if they got a steal who can come in and excel at what they do best. To that end, it could become a genius pick in the end.
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