Round 5, Pick No. 180 Overall (Compensatory): 49ers select cornerback Shaun Wade, Ohio State
Not too long ago, Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade was in the discussion for a safe second-round pick.
Now, particularly after a delay in his pro day because of a turf-toe injury, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound defensive back is seeing his draft stock fall dramatically, and it’s possible he winds up slipping even further and deeper into day three.
Well, as long as Wade is able to turn it around at the pro level, he’s certainly worth the Niners’ investment at the tail end of Round 5.
The last tape on Wade versus Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith in the CFB Playoff Championship game wasn’t good, no. But Wade was still productive enough last season to suggest he’d be a starting-caliber boundary cornerback right out of the gate.
Perhaps San Francisco would look to boost Wade’s confidence back up by employing him as a reserve nickel defensive back, supporting K’Waun Williams and potentially emerging into a starting role in 2022.
Especially if the intangibles, such as Wade’s strength and physicality at the catch point can be honed to match with his route-running recognition and reaction speed, the latter two needing some clear refinement.
If so, a player like Wade could be a steal for the 49ers.