Although the Oklahoma State Cowboys didn’t have one player drafted in 2020, the program has a rich history of sending talent into the NFL. In the 2000s alone, Oklahoma State had three wide receivers selected in the first round with Rashaun Woods, Dez Bryant, and Justin Blackmon. In a stacked wide receiver class for the 2021 NFL Draft, Tylan Wallace may not quite be able to join that group of first-round talent out of Oklahoma State. However, there is no doubt that he is one of the most exciting and productive talents, and he should garner early-round consideration.
Tylan Wallace NFL Draft Profile
Height: 6 foot
Weight: 190 pounds
Position: Wide Receiver
School: Oklahoma State University
Current Year: Senior
A former four-star recruit out of South Hills High School, Oklahoma State wide receiver Tylan Wallace has become one of the most productive players in college football. With 3,760 yards and 48 touchdowns at an eye-popping 20.7 yards per catch for the South Hill Scorpions, there should be no surprise that he would develop into one of the most dangerous wide receiving threats in the nation.
How does Wallace stack up with the competition is fiercest?
After a relatively quiet freshman season, Wallace exploded onto the national scene as a sophomore in 2018. The Oklahoma State wide receiver led the Big 12 with 1,491 yards, which were also good enough to rank second in the nation. That earned him recognition as a Biletnikoff Award finalist, but he lost out to the former first-round pick Jerry Jeudy.
Although the Big 12 carries a reputation of putting up little defensive resistance, Wallace has put up his best performances in games against his biggest competition. His career-high of 222 receiving yards against Texas came just two weeks before putting up 220 yards over Oklahoma. The best players turn up in the biggest games, and the Oklahoma State wide receiver combined for four touchdowns against the best two teams in the Big 12.
Any durability concerns?
Wallace continued to grow his reputation in 2019, racking up 903 yards and eight touchdowns before tearing his ACL in a practice session, prematurely ending a season that was heading towards first-round consideration in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The ACL injury was particularly poignant for the Wallace family. There is a devastating family history with career-threatening knee injuries with Tracin Wallace, Tylin’s twin brother, who suffered multiple injuries to the same knee. Although the injury ended Tracin’s career early, Tylan returned to action at the start of the 2020 college football season.
Tylan Wallace wows in final Oklahoma State home game
After being largely an afterthought in the Bedlam rivalry game, Oklahoma State wide receiver Tylan Wallace returned to his stunning best with a string of highlight catches in a 50-44 win over Texas Tech on Saturday. In his final home game for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, Wallace had seven catches for 129 receiving yards and a delightful over-the-shoulder touchdown reception to move into fourth place in the Cowboys’ all-time receiving list.
Wallace adds excellent tape to his profile
Although the Texas Tech defense is far from NFL caliber, Wallace continuously found ways to win on Saturday afternoon. He was at his devastating best, using his clear speed advantage to beat Red Raiders cornerback DaMarcus Fields on the outside. One early second quarter catch was a perfect example of this.
On that play, Fields gave Wallace around six yards of cushion at the line of scrimmage, and Wallace quickly ate into that, using his speed to create separation and demonstrating his athleticism, hand skills, and body control to snag the ball out of the air and come down with a 40-yard reception.
Wallace’s touchdown reception told a similar story. Fields was burned in coverage on the outside, and although he recovered enough to try and make a play on the ball, Wallace secured the ball with his strong hands while showing the spatial awareness to ensure at least one foot grazed the turf in the back corner of the end zone.
PFN Draft Analyst Tony Pauline weighs in
The threat of Wallace’s speed caused headaches for the Texas Tech defense several times in the game. He would set up to go long down the sideline, then stop on a dime to secure a catch in space and use his after-the-catch physicality to grind out extra yardage.
Wallace’s performance against Texas Tech earned recognition from Tony Pauline, who said this of the Oklahoma State receiver in his NFL Draft Stock Week 13 article:
“Wallace is a polished pass-catcher who finds ways to separate from defenders and make the reception. What stands out this year is his downfield blocking and his ability to pick up yardage after the catch. He presently grades as a Day 2 prospect, but the faster he runs prior to the draft, the earlier Wallace will be selected.”
With two more games left in his Oklahoma State career, Wallace needs 272 receiving yards to move into third in the Cowboys’ records books. With his current form, it is entirely possible.
Sooners shut down Wallace in Bedlam win
Oklahoma State wide receiver Tylan Wallace once again led the team in receptions and receiving yards. Still, it was a night to forget for the Cowboys’ offense as they fell to a 41-13 loss in the Bedlam rivalry game against the Oklahoma Sooners. Oklahoma State struggled to move the ball through the air and on the ground, totaling 246 total yards against an Oklahoma defense that showed great energy all night.
A perfect storm of obstacles
Although he led the team, Wallace’s four receptions for 68 yards were a far cry from his last outing in the rivalry matchup. Wallace had dominated Oklahoma to the tune of 220 yards and two touchdowns in 2018. Yet, he was stymied by a combination of good coverage, ineffective quarterback play, and rare errors on his behalf.
There are few better catchers of the ball in college football. But in trying to ensure his feet came down in bounds on a first-half play on 2nd and 10 at the Cowboys 33-yard line, Wallace suffered a rare drop. It wasn’t the only incomplete catch attempt on the night, but the others can be attributed to overthrown passes.
As mentioned previously in this profile, one of the main concerns for Wallace’s NFL projections is his ability to perform against press coverage — and the loss to Oklahoma won’t help ease those concerns. The Sooners pressed him at the line of scrimmage with Trey Brown for most of the game, and the result reflected in the box score.
Any silver lining to a bad loss in a rivalry game?
That being said, he drew a pass interference flag on Brown as the defensive back struggled to contain him on the outside, and Wallace also snagged a 25-yard gain as he worked Brown down the sideline on another play.
It is difficult to tell if Brown lost his footing or was out-muscled by Wallace, who used incredible footwork to create separation and secure the catch from the broadcast footage.
Wallace’s physicality continues to be a key component of his game. He showcased it to break two tackles and gain crucial yards after the catch on a 3rd and 12 play that went for 18 yards. Wallace also demonstrated his willingness and ability to use that physicality in the ground game, blocking off Brown as he attempted to bring a Chuba Hubbard run to an end off the right side in the second quarter.
Oklahoma State welcomes Texas Tech to Stillwater this week in a game that should see Wallace return to his productive ways. The Red Raiders have allowed 38 points per game and over 450 yards of total yardage in 2020 thus far.
Oklahoma State struggled to win without Tylan Wallace
Wallace missed Saturday’s Big 12 conference clash with Kansas State due to a mild muscle injury suffered during game week practices. Although the Oklahoma State Cowboys won 20-18 to strengthen their challenge for the Big 12 Championship, Wallace’s absence was notable as the offense struggled to get anything going.
The Cowboys failed to put up any points in the first half and only two field goals from Alex Hale, a Brennan Pressley touchdown run, and an 85-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Jason Taylor II to help them overcome a 12-0 half time deficit. Quarterback Spencer Sanders threw for just 108 yards at 4.7 yards per pass compared to the 10 yards per pass that he achieved against Texas with Wallace as his go-to target.
With Oklahoma State on a bye next week, Wallace is set to return for the “Bedlam” rivalry game against Oklahoma on November 21st. The matchup was the scene of one of Wallace’s best games in college football when he put up 220 yards and two touchdowns against the Sooners in 2018. The Oklahoma defense will give Wallace a chance to light up the box score in the same way, allowing 239.6 passing yards per game and 13 yards per completion so far in 2020.
Another exceptional performance by Tylan Wallace against a perennial conference challenger will help elevate his 2021 NFL Draft stock even further.