Shaun Wade

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/12/21

A summary of today’s minor draft pick signings:

Baltimore Ravens

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Ravens Select Ohio State CB Shaun Wade

Shaun Wade has finally been selected. The standout Ohio State cornerback was selected by the Ravens at No. 160.

Wade had three productive seasons with the Buckeyes, including a 2020 campaign where he compiled 34 tackles, two interceptions, and four passes defended. This performance earned him a long list of accolades, including Tatum–Woodson Defensive Back of the Year. He was also a consensus All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selection.

While the defensive back was once considered to be a potential first-round pick, a tough performance in the national championship game ruined his draft stock. Specifically, Alabama wideout DeVonta Smith had 12 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns … in just the first half. Wade also had an underwhelming pro day, which didn’t endear himself to scouts.

“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 Network’s Ian Rapoport said earlier today. “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.”

Ohio State CB Shaun Wade Opts Back In; Latest On Other Big Ten Opt-Outs

With the Big Ten now on track to begin its season in late October, Ohio State will have one of its top players back. Standout cornerback Shaun Wade said during an appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter (via ESPN.com’s Field Yates, on Twitter) he changed his mind on opting out of the 2020 season. He is now set to play as a senior.

Set to follow the likes of Bradley Roby, Eli Apple, Marshon Lattimore, Gareon Conley and Jeff Okudah as an Ohio State corner to hear his name called in the first round, Wade will do so after playing a fourth Buckeyes season. He ranks as the No. 7 player on Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest 2021 big board.

Wade hired an agent but did not file any paperwork, according to ESPN.com. He is not the only one of the Big Ten opt-outs to reconsider. Ohio State offensive lineman Wyatt Davis, a potential first-round pick, also reversed course and opted back in (Twitter link).

First-round prospects Micah Parsons (linebacker, Penn State), Rondale Moore (wide receiver, Purdue), Jalen Mayfield (tackle, Michigan) and Rashod Bateman (wide receiver, Minnesota) opted out before Wade initially decided to pass on 2020. Not all are committed to skipping the season, though some still are.

Penn State coach James Franklin said the door is open for Parsons to play as a junior, according to PennLive.com, while Purdue HC Jeff Brohm intends to check on Moore’s status now that the conference timetable has changed. Bateman, however, does not plan to opt back in, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The Golden Gophers standout wideout has asthma and cited health concerns as a reason he will skip the COVID-19-altered season to prepare for the draft. Despite playing just one full season with the Wolverines, Mayfield plans to stick with his decision to bypass his junior season, per the Detroit Free Press.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ohio State’s Shaun Wade Opts Out

Ohio State’s Shaun Wade has opted out of the upcoming season (Twitter link). The cornerback is widely projected to be a Top 10 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and he’ll get an early jump on preparing for the combine. 

[RELATED: Trevor Lawrence To Enter Draft After 2020 Season]

This has been an extremely difficult decision to make, but I know it’s the right decision for me. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty surrounding our season I have decided to forgo my remaining eligibility and officially declare for the 2021 NFL draft,” Wade said. “I am forever grateful to Buckeye Nation and looking forward to the next chapter.”

Of course, it remains to be seen whether the Big Ten will go ahead with its season, though it’s expected that the conference will forge ahead with an announcement in the coming days. For Wade, the risk of COVID-19 coupled with the ever-present injury risk didn’t add up.

In April, Wade will likely become the 15th Ohio State cornerback in NFL history to hear his name called in the first round. Earlier this year, Jeff Okudah became the 14th CB to go in Round 1 when the Lions tapped him at No. 3 overall. Other recent first-round Buckeyes include Denzel Ward, Marshon Lattimore, Gareon Conley, Eli Apple, Bradley Roby, and Malcolm Jenkins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.