Tylan Wallace Dynasty Fantasy Outlook, NFL Draft Profile & Prop Bets
Brian Bahr/Getty Images. Pictured: Tylan Wallace.
- How much does athleticism really matter? In the case of Tylan Wallace, potentially a lot.
- NFL draft and fantasy football analyst Matthew Freedman examines Wallace's outlook.
- Find Freedman's full profile on Wallace's future in the NFL and as a dynasty prospect below.
Tylan Wallace Draft Profile
Tylan Wallace Draft Props
While I rely on my own research, I also take a “wisdom of the crowds” approach by surveying an index of mock drafts. I find that these drafts — created by experts with established records of success — collectively give me a good sense of the realistic range of outcomes for what we might see with any given player or pick.
In not one of the surveyed mocks has Wallace gone in Round 1. In fact, he’s on the borderline of Rounds 2-3 (per Grinding the Mocks).
Dynasty Fantasy Analysis
Wallace has the game of a perimeter receiver and the mentality of a physical imposer — but he also has the body of a slot receiver and the athleticism of a third stringer.
That’s tough for me to say because I have loved Wallace for years.
As a freshman, Wallace played as a reserve behind 1,000-yard receivers James Washington and Marcell Ateman, barely seeing the field as he crawled his way to 7-118-0 receiving. But following Washington and Ateman’s departure to the NFL, Wallace immediately broke out as a sophomore, easily leading the Cowboys with 86-1,491-12 receiving and adding 1-6-1 rushing in 13 games.
And it’s not just that Wallace put up great numbers. He also played big. He seemingly channeled the spirit of Dez Bryant on every contested catch.
Tylan Wallace sees Dez Bryant in his game 👀 pic.twitter.com/EkeTWuWf5S
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) March 22, 2021
Wallace didn’t play dirty, but he played nasty. He treated every target as if it would be the last he’d ever see — as if the outcome of not just the game but also the universe depended on him securing the ball and then fighting for every yard he could get.
He wasn’t especially sharp with his routes, and he didn’t show much route variety, but he exuded such intensity in everything he did that one couldn’t help but root for him.
As a junior, he continued to dominate in his bully-ball fashion. But with one month to go in the campaign, he suffered a season-ending ACL tear, which I suspect impacted him as a senior.
- 2019 (9 games): 53-903-8 receiving | 1-0-0 rushing
- 2020 (10 games): 59-922-6 receiving | 1-7-0 rushing
At a glance, his production dropped off only a little from his junior to senior year. In fact, his numbers over the past three years are nearly unrivaled.
In 31 games over the past 3 seasons, Oklahoma State's Tylan Wallace has handled an absurd 34% of the team's targets and 46% of the air yards.
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) March 4, 2021
Since 2018, Wallace leads the FBS with 43 contested catches (per Pro Football Focus).
In his final season, Wallace still played big, especially at the catch point, and made plays downfield.
Oklahoma State wideout Tylan Wallace (@OfficialTylan2) has insanely strong hands. He’s a huge jump ball threat and makes defenders look like small children on a regular basis. He isn’t afraid to take a big hit either. pic.twitter.com/Hgop5SYE6i
— Jared Barsness (@JaredBarsNFL) March 8, 2021
But to my eye, he wasn’t the same player: He wasn’t bad, but he was slower getting off the line and into his routes, less sharp in making his cuts and less explosive in going up to fight for the ball and running after the catch.
And that lack of playmaking in 2020 is evident in perhaps the metric that matters most (per SIS, 2021 Sports Info Solutions Football Rookie Handbook).
Yards per Route
- 2018: 3.2
- 2019: 3.4
- 2020: 1.7
And his lack of athleticism was also sadly evident at the Oklahoma State pro day, where his slow 40-yard dash was the least of his worries.
With below-average size, Wallace flashed mediocre agility unlikely to facilitate success in the slot, and yet he exhibited so little explosiveness in his jumps that it’s hard to imagine an NFL team wanting to give him significant playing time on the perimeter (per RotoViz Workout Explorer).
When I first saw his 40 time, I thought, “Well, not great, but speed isn’t really his game anyway.”
And then I saw his short shuttle and three-cone times, and I said to myself, “Not good, but he’s more of a perimeter receiver than a shifty slot guy.”
But then I saw his broad and vertical jumps, and I just had to leave my house and go for a walk while muttering to myself underneath my breath: “Athleticism doesn’t matter. Nothing matters.”
Maybe Wallace is still working his way back from the knee injury and will be more explosive in the NFL than he was as a senior or at his pro day, but that’s that’s not something we can count on.
And his athleticism isn’t the only factor against him: Wallace broke out relatively early in college as a sophomore, but his NFL projection is hurt by the fact that he’s not an early declarant.
On top of that, Wallace did almost nothing as a runner or returner in college. Bigger receivers can often find NFL success without a history of ancillary undergraduate production, but smaller receivers rarely do.
And as strong as Wallace is at the catch point, he can be pushed around by cornerbacks in the middle of his routes. I’m not even talking about big corners — even small perimeter defenders can disrupt him. (Oklahoma cornerback Tre Brown is 185 pounds.)
Happy Tre Brown day. Here's him bullying Tylan Wallace all throughout his route pic.twitter.com/H154CDy2Fq
— Browns Guru (@BrownsAgeGuru) March 12, 2021
And given that the slot might be his best spot in the NFL, it’s moderately concerning that Wallace spent almost no time there in college (per SIS).
Route Rate in Slot
- 2018: 6%
- 2019: 13%
- 2020: 11%
With his strong college production and expected draft capital, Wallace might enjoy a few seasons of relevance, but he is unlikely to be anything more than a circumstantial fantasy WR2 at his peak.
NFL Prospect Comp: Ryan Broyles with more attitude and athleticism, but less draft capital and far less ancillary production
Matthew Freedman is 1,018-828-37 (55.1%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.