Some scouts believe Wade may have been a first-round pick if he had left school following the 2019 season. Wade did not play as well in 2020, which contributed to him falling to Day 3, but he's a talented player who enters the NFL determined to reward the Ravens, and to prove something to people who doubt him.
Wade becomes the third Ohio State player the Ravens have drafted the past two seasons, joining running back J.K. Dobbins and inside linebacker Malik Harrison who were part of last year's strong Baltimore draft class.
"Me and J.K. got those stories from freshman year," Wade said. "Malik is somebody that brought me in when I first got there. Just being around those two guys in the future is going to be great."
Size: 6-foot-1, 191 pounds
2020 stats: 8 games, 34 tackles, 2 interceptions, 4 passes defended
2019 stats: 11 games, 26 tackles, 1 interception, 7 passes defended
Why he fits the Ravens: Wade is an excellent blitzer from the corner position, a strength that Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale will surely look to utilize. Though he played outside in 2020, Wade was primarily a slot corner in 2019 and excelled. Although the Ravens are deep at cornerback, it's a position they value greatly and they never want to be caught shorthanded in the secondary due to injuries. Investing in a player who was regarded as one of the country's top cornerbacks in 2019 is a move not just for the present, but for the future.
How the pick went down: The Ravens began Saturday holding the 136th pick in the draft, but traded back to No. 160 in a deal with the Arizona Cardinals. At that point, teams are looking to find players who will outperform their draft position, and Wade could be one of those prospects. With the talent the Ravens already have at cornerback they do not have to rush Wade onto the field.
Scouting report: "Physically talented cornerback who shows a physical nature to his game, mixes it up with receivers, and stays on the opponents hips out of breaks. Effectively brackets receivers over the middle of the field with safeties, displays a closing burst, and swiftly gets to the ball. Consistently gets his head back around to locate the ball in the air. Played with a nonchalant attitude last year, seemed as if he was going half speed." – Tony Pauline, Pro Football Network
Background: Wade spent four years in Italy growing up when his father was serving in the military. Wade entered high school ranked as one of the country's top prep basketball players, but he turned his focus more to football in high school. He wore No. 24 at Ohio State in memory of his childhood friend, Jacoby Wright, who wore that number as an AAU basketball player before he was murdered in 2015.
What Wade said: "I've had a chip on my shoulder since the 2020 season ended, and the things that I've been through. 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."