Trevin Wade is somewhat of an enigma as an NFL prospect. The best part of his game seems to be his intangibles, which obviously are hard to measure. The 5'11" cornerback had 12 interceptions during his career at Arizona, showing good instincts and above-average hands.
However, draft status is based largely on measurables and his were average at best. Wade ran a 4.59 in the 40 at the NFL Combine, ranking him 19th out of 34 cornerbacks. His vertical jump and broad jumps were also in the lower half of the pack, but he did well in the bench press, completing 18 reps at 225 lbs, the 10th-best at his position.
Wade is a good study and a smart football player. What he lacks in pure athleticism, he makes up for with his instincts. He had nine interceptions over his first two seasons, gaining him great notoriety as a youngster. However, with just three picks over his junior and senior years, questions linger about whether he was a tad overrated.
WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING:
Rob Rang from nfldraftscout.com wasn't terribly high on Wade's status, but has admitted that other experts think they are underrating him.
"I've been told by scouts that we're ranking Wade too low on our current cornerback rankings but only a handful of the '30 or so' scouts and coaches on hand for Arizona's Pro Day elected to wait until the end of the workout to watch Wade's positional drills."
Todd McShay, however, sees potential in Wade and has noted his growth.
"Wade has improved this season, showing more aggressiveness and trusting his instincts more. He has two interceptions this season to go with 10 pass breakups, and he's active against the run (43 tackles)."
Wade's draft profile on nfl.com highlighted some of Wade's positive traits.
"Wade possesses many key traits that cover corners need to succeed at the next level, including height, hip mobility, fluidity in his backpedal, and an understanding of how to play the line of scrimmage to disrupt route timing."
His profile, however, also noted that he had a significant drop-off in production as a junior and was "beat up and down the field and looking uninspired in his play."
EXPECTED IMPACT AS A ROOKIE:
Wade has shown ability throughout his career and despite a down year during his junior campaign, Wade did bounce back to garner Second-Team All-Pac-12 honors last year.
His initial impact will most likely come on special teams, although he could draw some playing time in the secondary as a rookie if he shows the potential he did during his freshman and sophomore years.
Wade's willingness to tackle and his intelligence make him an outstanding candidate to do well on kick coverage. He has the ability and potential to win over his coaching staff and will have ample opportunity to prove himself in camp and in the preseason.