NFL Draft 2021: Injuries affect Tylan Wallace’s draft stock

Despite just concluding one of the most prolific receiving careers in OSU history, Tylan Wallace’s “injury” perception is lowering his NFL Draft value.

Injuries from his college career are affecting the NFL Draft stock of Oklahoma State All-America wideout Tylan Wallace.

Wallace tore his ACL as a junior in October 2019, forcing him to miss the team’s last five games. He missed the Kansas State game in 2020 after tweaking a muscle in practice, and appeared limited in the following game against OU. He has been the leading wide receiver for OSU’s offense for the past three seasons.

The Fort Worth native was electric in 2018, his sophomore season, with 86 catches for 1,491 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. He led the nation with 63 catches of 10+ yards and had two 200-yard receiving games against ranked teams (OU and Texas) — leading to first-team All-America honors.

In each of the past two years, Wallace has amassed at least 900 receiving yards and has averaged more than 15 yards per reception without playing a complete season. Just like in his sophomore year, Wallace consistently displayed his deep-threat skills, speed, and leaping ability as a junior and senior.

With more than 3,400 career receiving yards, Wallace ranks as the fourth-most productive OSU wide receiver behind only James Washington, Rashawn Woods, and Justin Blackmon. Throughout his OSU career, Wallace has been consistently lauded for his big-stage playmaking abilities and his competitiveness.

Wallace is currently projected as a second or third round selection for the 2021 NFL Draft. According to NFL.com’s Chad Reuter, for example, Wallace will be selected 90th overall (mid-third round) by the Vikings. Josh Edwards of CBS Sports tabs Wallace as the 81st overall selection (end of second round) to Washington Football Team, which is 23 spots later than he had projected a month earlier.

Many NFL analysts rank Wallace lower down the list of top wide receivers heading into the 2021 draft. Nationally well known names like LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase, Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith, and Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman are found on most everyone’s prospect lists ahead of Wallace.

It’s not to say that the former Biletnikoff finalist shouldn’t have returned for his senior season in Stillwater – it’s merely that there’s now a lagging perception out there that his best playing days are behind him.

We tend to think that we’re psychologically above things like recency bias, but that seems to be a factor for Wallace and his perceived standing going into the 2021 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-0 departing senior’s underwhelming 2020 numbers from a sometimes-sluggish offense seem to be speaking louder than his sophomore season performance two years ago. His pro day workout was

After the 2019 season in which Wallace was second in the nation in receiving yards, would you have said that eight or nine wide receivers would be drafted ahead of him two years later?

He’s had impressive pro day workouts recently, too, clocking a 4.48-second 40-yard dash and a 33-inch vertical leap. Looking strong and healthy now, Wallace will be able to show the NFL this fall that teams are currently undervaluing him.