A tough and at times physical corner. Shows ability to drive on the poorlythrown out pattern and can jump the throw for the breakup. WIll deliver a hit to the receiver to break up passes. Likes to mix things up and get in receivers faces. Has experience playing in the slot, and also has worked in press coverage. Shows decent hips and burst. Will break down and wrap up to make the tackle in the open field or on the edge. Shows decent closing burst on the ball when he can keep things in front of him. WIlling in run support and does shy away from his assignments there.
Lacks ideal size and speed. Doesn't show great ability in man coverage because he doesn't have great hips and burst. His awareness isn't very good, and he will get beat too easily with the double move. Gets caught out of position too many times for your liking both in coverage and in run support. Is an undersized tackler and will miss some open field stops because of it.
Wade was productive at Arizona, but despite a strong start to his collegiate career where he had 9 picks in his first two seasons, he did not really show much progress the past two years. He's a tough player that you will like because of his effort, but he's just overmatched at times. He's a guy that is competent enough in man coverage that he can stick with receivers. But he's not good enough to really stop the players he faces at the collegiate level, not even the guys that are going to be more than backups at the pro level. And thus, if/when he gets into a situation where he'll face top pro receivers, he's likely going to struggle.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(9/8) at Oklahoma St: 4 targets, 3 rec., 38 yds (12.7 avg), 18 YAC, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 1 PD
(9/17) vs. Stanford: 6 tgt., 2 rec., 59 yds (29.5 avg), 25 YAC, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 2 PDs; 1 missed tackle
(10/20) vs. UCLA: 2 tgt., 1 rec., 55 yds, 36 YAC, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 0 PD; 2 missed tackles
2011: 12 GP/11 GS, 52 tackles, 1.0 TFL, 0.0 sacks, 2 INTs, 13 PD, 1 FF, 0 FR
2010: 12/11, 47-1.5-0.0-1-3-0-0
2009: 13/13, 71-1.0-0.0-5-9-1-0
Wade can potentially compete down the line for a nickel role but it's hard to see him being good enough or doing much besides playing special teams his first few years in the league. If he can produce there, he'll get some more development time to improve in coverage enough that by his third or fourth year he could push for playing time in a nickel role. But I think if he was ever to get extended minutes on defense, he would struggle. And it's hard to see him sticking beyond his rookie contract because of that. Eventually, bigger, better, and faster corners will come along that will push him to the wayside. And he doesn't do anything well enough to think any team is going to really consider him an asset outside special teams. The player he reminds me of a bit is Jacob Lacey, who was a similar player in college at Oklahoma State. Lacey didn't have great size or speed, but he was a hard-nosed competitor. Wade is similar, but I don't think he's as good as Lacey was, and we've seen Lacey struggle with the Colts outside his rookie year. Like Lacey, I think he could be competent enough to be a backup corner on a bad team. Wade will add some depth, but he's not going to make anybody's secondary much better than it already is. He might find a role as a No. 4 corner, and be a decent stopgap nickel down the road, but it's just hard seeing him playing more than three or four years in the league as a journeyman before better players come along and push him out.
Wade can compete for a role here in Atlanta, and like Darrin Walls a year ago with a good summer he can make the roster. But he's really just a special teams guy, that isn't good enough to really push for playing time in his first few years. He's probably more likely to make the Falcons practice squad as a rookie than the actual roster, but if he sits there for a year or two, he could potentially be a guy that can win a role as a No. 4 or No. 5 corner here in Atlanta. But he's not a better football player than any corner the Falcons currently have. He adds competition and some depth more than anything, but won't improve the secondary by any significant degree. More than likely, he'll be gone by his third summer if not sooner.
Wade is not really worth a draft pick, but could be a priority free agent signing for a team looking to bolster their competition in training camp.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
Man Coverage: 5.0
Zone Coverage: 5.0
Ball Skills: 5.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.