Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
W: 194 lbs
Year: Redshirt Junior
Wade wins first with quickness and speed. He has the speed to easily keep up with any receiver he lines up against. His quick feet and fluid hips allows him to stay stuck to the hip of receivers in his match-ups. Wade does a fantastic job on deep routes of staying sticky to receivers to limit their catch window while pushing them to the sideline. He’s very active with his hands and effective with his arms when pressing. Wade also is good in zone, switching off receivers seamlessly and displaying high awareness. He is an asset in defending against the run; he’s quick in diagnosing run plays and is a solid tackler, which also makes him great against screens.
Wade struggles against quick slants and in/out routes, quickly losing a step and allowing too much separation. He also has trouble with receivers running routes like sluggos, jerks, or hitch-and-go’s. Lastly, it’s not as much of a weakness as it is something that needs to be noted for the 2020 season, but Wade hasn’t played much outside corner in college football (more info on that below).
Wade mainly played slot cornerback for the Buckeyes, but that’s more due to the elite talent ahead of him in Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette, both first round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. I fully expect Wade to shift to an outside cornerback position in 2021. One of the biggest challenges I faced watching his tape is that he’s so good in man coverage that it’s honestly hard to find many instances of him playing the ball since it’s simply not thrown his way very often. Wade is very fast and very sticky with quick feet and flexible hips. He needs to improve his man coverage on shorter routes, but I think Wade’s abilities right now can translate well to the NFL. Wade could’ve declared for the draft last season, but it was a good idea to go back to school for one more year so he can play a full season at outside cornerback. He is my top-ranked cornerback in the 2021 NFL Draft, and seems like a top-15 pick.