2021 NFL Draft Profile: Penn State Defensive Back Lamont Wade

By Matthew Filipovits on April 27, 2021 at 9:00 am
Oct 12, 2019; Iowa City, IA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions safety Lamont Wade (38) in action against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
© Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
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Lamont Wade has spent the past four seasons doing a variety of things for Penn State's defense. He came into his own as a safety, but it's his ability to play corner and his potential to make an impact at special teams that will get pro scout's attentions.

Lamont Wade
Lamont Wade
Position: Safety/Cornerback
Height/Weight: 5'9/190 lbs.
Hometown: Clairton (PA)
Recruiting Ranking: ★★★★(0.9797)
Strengths At a Glance: Tackling ability, Speed, Versatility
Weaknesses At a Glance:  Size, Will need help in man coverage

Career Summary

Lamont Wade was one of the first big recruiting wins for James Franklin, landing the high-four star prospect and opening a pipeline into Western Pennsylvania. He was a January enrollee and earned playing time as a true freshman in a crowded cornerback room which featured a handful of NFL-caliber players.

Wade Career Stats
  Games Tackles Passed Defended Interceptions
2017 12 31 3 0
2018 13 18 0 0
2019 13 67 5 0
2020 9 37 3 1
TOTAL 47 153 11 1

After his first season on campus, he made the position switch to safety - something we've seen James Franklin and Co. do with a handful of young corners over the years. It took him a year to get the position down and after a quick foray into the NCAA Transfer Portal, locked down a starting job in his junior season. 

He showed strong tackling skills, finishing the season with 67 tackles, fourth-most on the team, and logging 4.5 tackles for loss which tied for the lead amongst defensive backs. He got picked on a bit in coverage throughout the season, but to be fair he didn't have very much help from an oft-banged up and very green cornerback room around him. He still broke up five passes and earned All-Big Ten honorable mention honors for his performance. He continued to be a reliable tackler in 2020, but his best play of the season came on a 100-yard kickoff return in the season finale - proving that that was a responsibility he probably should have handled throughout his career.

Strengths

Speed...Can play safety and shift up to cornerback in obvious passing situations...Willing to play close to the line of scrimmage...Has a knack for creating turnovers, especially forcing and recovering fumbles...Plays low

Weaknesses

Size...Is going to need help in man coverage against certain tight ends and receivers...Takes bad angles when trying to make a splash play...Streaky

Summary

Lamont Wade is a guy who can play multiple positions, but if he's going to latch on in the NFL, it's going to be because of his special team's play. He's more than willing to find contact, which will make him a great asset on kick coverage and speed makes him a viable option to return kicks. He probably won't have a major role on defense, but he can hold things down in a pinch and be a reliable player for a professional team.

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