Sun, 16 May 2021

Ravens Select Wide Receiver Tylan Wallace With 131st Pick

Baltimore Ravens
02 May 2021, 05:25 GMT+10

Ryan Mink

The Ravens added a second wide receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft, getting Oklahoma State's Tylan Wallace in the fourth round with pick No. 131.

Wallace was considered by many pundits to be a Day 2 pick, potentially in the second round, yet he was still available near the end of the fourth.

General Manager Eric DeCosta has now selected two wide receivers in each of his three drafts, building a young, talented group around quarterback Lamar Jackson. There will be a great competition this summer.

Wallace was highly productive in college, averaging more than 1,100 yards and scoring 26 touchdowns in his last three seasons. He posted an eye-popping 86 catches for 1,491 yards and 12 touchdowns as a sophomore.

He's particularly impressive in contested catch situations, and produced a touchdown or first down on 73.7 percent of his catches. Wallace is a physical player who is also strong as a blocker.

Part of the reason why Wallace may have slid into the fourth round is because of injury concerns. He suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in 2019 and has some family history with knee injuries. He still rebounded with back-to-back 900-yard seasons, measures in with good size, and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds.

Size: 5-foot-11, 195 pounds

2020 stats: 59 receptions, 922 yards, 6 touchdowns

2019 stats: 53 receptions, 903 yards, 8 touchdowns

Why he fits Ravens: Baltimore is stockpiling young wide receivers. Wallace will compete with Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay, James Proche II and others for a spot on the roster and targets in the passing game. The Ravens have been looking for more chain-movers, and that's what both Bateman and Wallace can do.

How the pick went down: There were so many good wide receivers in this year's class that some popular names faded into Day 3. Amon-Ra St. Brown of USC went to the Detroit Lions at pick No. 112 and Jaelon Darden of North Texas went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 129. Head Coach John Harbaugh announced the Ravens' selection.

Scouting report: "A three-year starter at Oklahoma State, Wallace was the Z receiver in offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn's version of the Air Raid offense, lining up primarily to the right of the formation. He consistently created explosive plays at the college level, producing a first down or touchdown on 73.7% of his catches and becoming the fifth player in school history to reach 200 career receptions. Wallace plays with impressive route movements from set-up to stem and shows the tracking skills and focus to rebound the football. With his ability to play through contact, he is a fun player with the ball in the air, but the difficulty level of winning contested catches in the NFL compared to the Big 12 will be monumental. Overall, Wallace has only average size and speed, but he is a route technician with the play strength, body control and catch radius to make plays at every level of the field. He projects as an NFL starter if his knee stays healthy." - Dane Brugler, The Athletic.

Background: Wallace was a four-start recruit out of high school in Texas. He and his twin brother, Tracin, made a pact to attend college together. Tylan received offers from Michigan, Oklahoma and others, but Oklahoma State courted both brothers the strongest. Tracin was a quarterback and safety, but was forced to medically retire after tearing the ACL in his left knee for a third time, which required four surgeries.

What Wallace said: "Going into it, I thought I would go a lot earlier. But obviously everything happens for a reason. I'm happy that I got picked by Baltimore and ready to go to work from here. ... A big thing for me is my ball skills, whether it's locating the football, high pointing it, running through it. And also my physicality; I think that's one thing that separates me in this draft class for sure."

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