The Pittsburgh Steelers signed Lamont Wade as an undrafted free agent, following the 2021 NFL Draft’s conclusion Saturday.
With most of the pressing questions already answered surrounding several Nittany Lion players in the 2021 draft, the question of “Will Lamont Wade get drafted?” still remained.
But not anymore.
During his career at Penn State, Wade showed everyone he had a nose for the football. As evident by his 31 tackles his freshman year and a career high 67 tackles his junior year.
However, sometimes his nose led him to take some not-so-great angles to ball carriers once he made the shift from corner to safety.
Either way, the Steelers are going to get a guy who is versatile both on the back end of the defense (can play both nickel corner and safety) as well as a guy who could be a solid special teams contributor.
Penn State fans only got to witness Wade’s return ability his senior season as he racked up 192 return yards on only 5 kickoff return attempts. This also included a 102 yard kickoff return touchdown against the Fighting Illini.
Will he possibly get a chance to return kicks in the NFL?
The NFL Draft Bible indicates Wade has some work to do if he wants to play nickel corner in the NFL, “Wade will need to improve his footwork and hand usage in man coverage if he is going to stay around as a nickel heading to the pros.” However, they do see a good fit at safety explaining, “The more natural position will likely be as a true safety who can avoid getting tangled up close to the line of scrimmage.”
Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network also sees Wade fitting in at safety. He noted, “Wade certainly appears to have a role as a depth safety and special teams contributor—he runs the alley well and has had success with cut tackles to get into the legs of the ball-carrier in the open field.” Crabbs even believes Wade can be a pressure player as he added, “Wade’s best role as a defensive player is likely as a subpackage safety and he did show some prowess as a pressure player on blitz looks to stem and hide his intentions.”