How far could Oklahoma State wide receiver Tylan Wallace rise in the 2021 NFL Draft rankings?
As we continue to turn the page to the 2021 NFL Draft here at NFL Mocks, one thing is very clear. The 2021 wide receiver class has the potential to be even better at the top than the 2020 class. A few names headline the class as surefire first-rounders, but there are plenty of others jockeying for a spot among the top.
One of those receivers is Oklahoma State standout Tylan Wallace. Wallace was well on his way to a superb 2019 season before tearing his ACL in a non-contact practice. Before then, in nine games, Wallace accumulated 53 catches for 903 yards and eight touchdowns, good for 17 yards per catch.
Let’s look at his early scouting report to see what he does well, and what he can improve on as the page turns to the 2020 season.
The first thing that stands out when watching Wallace is what he can do once the ball is in his hands. Wallace can turn plays in the quick passing game into touchdowns with ease thanks to his explosiveness and long speed. In fact, a lot of his production came from his ability to create after the catch. Don’t forget about the toughness he displays after the catch. Wallace isn’t afraid of contact and will lower his shoulder when necessary.
That speed and explosiveness comes in handy for Wallace when working vertically. He’s a true vertical threat in the passing game and can create separation with that long speed. It also helps his ability as a route runner, especially on a vertical plane with comeback and hitch routes.
Another positive trait for Wallace is his hands. There’s very rarely a double catch on tape, and he is comfortable making tough catches in traffic and with defenders draped on him. Wallace also can make things happen in contested spots and high point the football effectively.
More from NFL Draft
- NFL Draft: Ranking the top signal callers of the 2024 NFL QB Class
- Packers’ Lukas Van Ness will make a Lambeau leap into the NFL in 2023
- 2024 NFL Draft: Hunter Haas’ Top 50 Big Board
- NFL preseason Week 3: Notre Dame’s Mayer, Foskey with something to prove
- NFL Draft Notebook: Bo Nix is the third-best quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft
Let’s not forget about Wallace’s ability to adjust to the football when it’s in the air, as the rep above shows. He has very good body control and displays it in traffic.
Despite the explosiveness Wallace displays, he’s still got some things to work on before the 2021 NFL Draft rolls around. As far as route running goes, expanding his route tree will be important in the 2020 season. He’s mostly worked on a vertical plane and doesn’t create consistent separation horizontally. Wallace shows explosion off his plant foot from 2019, so as long as he applies it, this shouldn’t be an issue.
The Big 12 conference doesn’t often provide the opportunity to work against press coverage, so seeing Wallace display that ability to create initial separation with a strong release and get through initial contact when given the chance will be important.
We talked briefly about how a lot of his production came from manufactured touches in the quick passing game, and while there’s a place for that in NFL schemes, it will be good to see Wallace be able to create more deep down the field.
Finally, and perhaps the most important, is Wallace’s health. How he performs coming off an ACL tear will be huge for his draft stock. If Wallace still has the explosiveness, 2020 could be an excellent year for him and boost his stock for the 2021 NFL Draft.