Ravens Sleeper Draft Pick: Cornerback Shaun Wade

Ohio State cornerback could make first-year impact.
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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens are confident they received first-round value for cornerback Shaun Wade in this year's NFL draft.

After dealing with injuries and some inconsistent play when transitioning from the slot to outside cornerback, Baltimore was able to trade the 136th and 210th picks to the Arizona Cardinals to select Wade in the fourth round and grab another fourth-round pick next year.

It was a classic move by Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta. 

"Shaun Wade, a nickel corner, a slot corner, two years ago really excelled as one of the best corners in football," DeCosta said. "[We’re] excited to get him. He’s played a lot of good football in a very good conference."

In 2019, Wade started all 14 games as a third-year sophomore and finished with 26 tackles, four tackles-for-loss, one interception, two forced fumbles and eight pass breakups.

Last season, Wade was voted a team captain had a lingering turf toe injury that hampered his season. He still managed to record 35 tackles, four pass breakups and two interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown in a seven-point win over Indiana. He was named a consensus All-American and the Buckeyes’ first-ever Big Ten defensive back of the year as a result.

At 6-foot-1, 191 pounds, Wade is a physical player. He put up impressive numbers during his Pro Day when he ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash and posted a 37.5-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-3 broad jump, the latter of which raised nearly $1,700 for single-parent and underprivileged families through his PledgeIt drive for Warrick Dunn Charities.

"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."

The Ravens will likely move Wade back into the slot, where he excelled with Buckeyes. Wade also has the ability to blitz from the secondary

He is ready to contribute wherever he's needed. It appears he'll get every opportunity to make an impact in Baltimore.

“It doesn’t matter what position I play," Wade said. "At the end of the day, if I have to play inside, I’ll play inside. If they may need me at corner, they need me at corner. If they need me at safety, they need me at safety. I still have versatility and I still can do everything. My No. 1 thing is [to] be healthy, and when I’m healthy, you get the best Shaun Wade.”