The Ravens have traded rookie cornerback Shaun Wade to the New England Patriots for a seventh-round draft pick in 2022 and a fifth-round pick in 2023, a source with knowledge of the deal confirmed Thursday.
Wade, a fifth-round pick in May, struggled throughout training camp but has lifted his game in the preseason. Through two games, he has allowed a passer rating of 0.0 when targeted, according to Pro Football Focus, and had a game-clinching interception in the Ravens’ win over the New Orleans Saints. He’s the first Ravens draft pick traded as a rookie since seventh-round pick Ryan LaCasse was dealt to the Indianapolis Colts in 2006.
With Wade’s trade, first reported by The Athletic, camp standout Chris Westry has a clearer path to the Ravens’ 53-man roster, which will be finalized Tuesday. The team typically carries no more than six full-time cornerbacks into a season, and Wade, Westry and defensive back Nigel Warrior had been battling for a roster spot behind Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Tavon Young, Jimmy Smith and Anthony Averett.
The trade leaves the Ravens thin on inside cornerbacks. While Humphrey has excelled in the slot, his natural position is on the outside. Tavon Young has had a strong camp but is injury-prone. Peters, Smith and Averett have played mostly outside cornerback in Baltimore. Rookie defensive back Brandon Stephens lined up at times in the slot last season for Southern Methodist but has lined up mainly as a deep safety for the Ravens.
Wade, 22, struggled in his final season at Ohio State, despite earning All-America honors. Bothered by knee and toe injuries, he allowed a 112.1 passer rating in coverage in 2020, according to Sports Info Solutions, while playing mostly on the outside. In 2019, when he played mostly as a slot cornerback, he allowed just 201 yards in coverage, according to SIS.
“I’ve had a chip on my shoulder since the 2020 season at the end of that [with] the things that I’ve been through and stuff,” Wade said after he was drafted. “I’m always going to come in with a chip on my shoulder regardless. I know what I’m going to do on the field. I know what I can do. I know my smartness, my talent. Like everybody said, they know I have first-round talent, and I know I have first-round talent. So right now, I’m just putting it on the field and doing it every day.”