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NFL Draft

Tylan Wallace: 2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview Series

  • The Draft Network
  • March 3, 2021
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If you’re looking for the most well-rounded receiver prospect eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft, Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace could be both the beginning and end of your search.

One of the most prolific receivers in school history, Wallace racked up more than 3,400 receiving yards and an astounding 26 touchdowns throughout his time as a Cowboy.  Wallace routinely displayed his rare combination of explosiveness and vertical ability on what felt like a weekly basis.

Wallace recently spoke exclusively with The Draft Network about his experience at the Senior Bowl, why playing in OSU’s offense prepared him for the NFL, his dynamic ability, and why he’ll be successful at the next level.

JM: In addition to football, you also participated in baseball and track and field in high school. It’s obvious how track can make you a better receiver, but I’ll let you tell it. How did competing in those two sports make you a better football player?

TW: Obviously participating in track helped me with my speed. I also did some jumping in my track and field competitions so it helped me a little bit when it comes to balance and leaping for jump balls.

Baseball for sure helped me a lot. You really have to focus when playing baseball. I played center field and catcher. I believe that it helped me with my transition to football. If you can track a baseball, you can definitely track a football. As far as being able to track a football as a wide receiver, playing baseball definitely helped me in this area.

JM: Not to mention the hand-eye coordination that’s involved with playing baseball.

TW: Right, that’s another thing. Essentially, all of the little aspects that come with playing the game of baseball translate to football in one way or another.

JM: You’ve played alongside your twin brother Tracin both in high school and college. What did that mean to you, and what are you thinking about emotionally as you potentially face the reality of playing without him by your side for the first time in your life in the NFL?

TW: It meant a lot to me. We always realized that a lot of brothers don’t get that chance. We knew that going into college. That was something that doesn’t happen very often.

It was a big part of the reason that we decided to go to the same school. We wanted to exercise the possibility of sharing a field together.

In terms of this being the first time we are going to be apart from one another, it’s going to be hard and different, but we’ve always known that this point of our lives would eventually arrive. I think we’re just both excited to see where our paths take us.

JM: I appreciate the honesty. You leave Oklahoma State as one of the most prolific receivers in school history. We don’t have enough time to round off all of the accolades. You truly left the program in a better state. How do you reflect on your time there?

TW: Choosing Oklahoma State was one of the best decisions I ever made. When Tracin and I took our visit there, we knew it was a special place. We took two visits there, one being unofficial. We knew right away that we wanted to go there. It’s a different place.

I wouldn’t trade my time at Oklahoma State for anything in this world.

JM: We love that. One of the things that jumps out at me about your game when I turn the tape on is your ability to come out as the victor on vertical balls that are considered to be 50-50. You almost make them feel like they’re 75-25. How did you develop that part of your game?

TW: 75-25, I like that (laughs). That’s how I’ve always played the game. With me not being the biggest receiver, I’ve always had the mentality that I have to be able to win balls like that. 

I have to make them 75-25. I’ve always approached the game with an aggressive mentality. I block the same way I attack the football in the air. I think that’s just how I’ve always played the game.

JM: Do you have a favorite route to run?

TW: I’d probably say a fade route. If I had to choose just one, it would definitely be a fade ball. It’s just like you said, I like to make those 50-50 fade balls a 75-25 situation in my favor. It’s another opportunity for me to go out there and make a big play on the ball.

JM: That’s a great choice. Oklahoma State is well known for deploying an offensive scheme that is very friendly to play in. It’s best known as an Air Raid offense. What can you tell me about the scheme and how you think it’ll help you make the transition to the next level?

TW: We play in an Air Raid offense but we also did some fast tempo stuff. You obviously don’t see a lot of that in the NFL. 

As far as knowing that I’m conditioned for that, I was able to play in a fast, high volume offense that always wanted to keep things moving. I definitely think we did some things at Oklahoma State that will help me prepare for the next level.

JM: One of the knocks on the offense is that it doesn’t typically ask its receivers to run a full route tree. You pointed out that it’s not really used at the NFL level. If that fact comes up in one of your team meetings throughout this process, how do you plan to respond?

TW: I totally understand why that’s a fair question or concern that a team may have. A lot of people bring that up.

For me, just because you haven't seen it doesn’t mean it’s not there. We didn’t run a full route tree at Oklahoma State. That doesn’t mean I can’t do it, though. You just haven’t seen me do it yet.

That would be my response. Just because you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean I can’t do it.

JM: That’s a terrific answer. You’re such a unique playmaker. I’m curious, which receivers did you enjoy watching growing up? Do you model your game after any of them?

TW: Growing up in Fort Worth, I was a huge Dallas Cowboys fan. I watched a lot of Dez Bryant. He’s one of the reasons that I attack the football the way that I do. I highpoint the football because Dez always went up and attacked the football (laughs). He inspired me. If I had to choose a player that I try to model my game after, it would definitely be Dez Bryant.

JM: That’s a great choice. What’s your favorite part of playing the wide receiver position?

TW: We’re the playmakers. That’s the best part for me. We’re the guys that have to go out there and make plays. If I had to choose just one thing that I love about playing the position, it would have to be that. 

There are certain situations where everyone relies on us. I love that part of the game. I have to go out there and make plays for my team and for the fans as well. 

JM: You recently competed at the Senior Bowl. What was that experience like?

TW: That was an amazing experience. I was really blessed to receive an invite to something like that. A lot of guys don’t get that invite or opportunity. That isn’t lost on me. It was an honor to be out there. 

It gave me a chance to compete with the best guys around the country. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. It was an eye-opening experience. I had a great time there.

JM: I thought the competition level was through the roof. Who were some of your favorite defensive backs to practice against?

TW: If I had to throw just one name out there, I would definitely say Tre Brown. You know we have a little rivalry going since he played at Oklahoma (laughs). In my experiences with him, he’s a great player. It’s always a battle when him and I go head-to-head.

JM: He’s a good one. Have you met with any NFL teams recently via Zoom or telephone?

TW: I’ve been meeting with teams recently. I met with all 32 teams at the Senior Bowl. I’ve had a few meetings outside of that since then.

I can’t throw any names out there, but I will say that there are some teams out there that are showing a lot of interest in me.

JM: That makes sense. If you could catch a pass from one NFL quarterback, who would it be and why?

TW: That’s a great question. I guess I would say Tom Brady. He’s arguably one of the greatest players in the history of sports, period. Who wouldn’t want to catch a pass from him? He’s obviously had the most successful career imaginable. He’s probably the best football player of all time. I’d have to say him for sure.

JM: The NFL Scouting Combine isn’t going to look the same this year, but you’ll still get a Pro Day to show off your athletic ability. Are there any drills in particular that you think you can really shock us with your performance?

TW: I don’t think I can point out one or two drills. I think I’m going to do better than most people expect me to in all of the drills. The overall picture is going to look great. I might open up some eyes in every drill. 

My Pro Day is on April 1. Stay tuned for that.

JM: That’s great. I’ve really appreciated your time tonight, Tylan. This has been terrific. In closing, what kind of impact is Tylan Wallace going to make at the next level?

TW: Tylan Wallace is going to make an impact in the sense that I bring a different level of energy to the game. As far as my aggressiveness goes in the way that I attack the football, how I block, running back to the ball, or finishing the play with some big yards after the catch, I feel like I’m going to bring all of that ability to the next level.

I don’t think you’ve seen something like that in a while.

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