Ravens bolster secondary by picking Shaun Wade in 5th round

The Baltimore Ravens selected defensive back Shaun Wade out of Ohio State in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, 160th overall.

Wade was once considered a highly touted prospect but his stock slipped after an inconsistent 2020 campaign. He spent the majority of his college career in the slot before moving outside for his final year with the Buckeyes.

The Ohio State product left college with six career interceptions and 18 passes defended.

The Ravens view Wade as a slot cornerback/safety hybrid, according to MMQB’s Albert Breer.

Draft profile

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Key stats: 34 tackles, 2 INTs, 4 passes defended, 1 TD

Wade is a fascinating evaluation. Prior to the 2020 season, when he was playing exclusively in the slot, the Ohio State product was considered by many to be a potential first-round talent. And then came his transition to boundary cornerback, which led to an incredibly difficult year and a downward-trending draft stock. Wade still has plenty of talent to offer, though, particularly if he’s deployed as a safety at the next level. It’s a projection, to be sure, but it’s a worthwhile bet based on the production we’ve seen in the past. If he’s removed from situations in which he’s forced to match the quickness of receivers off the line and instead allowed to use his instincts and physicality in a more optimal way, Wade could end up being a steal.