Does Tylan Wallace Have the Makings of an X-Receiver for the Chiefs?

The Kansas City Chiefs could soon be on the market for a Sammy Watkins replacement at wide receiver. Could Oklahoma State's Tylan Wallace fill that void?
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Tylan Wallace - WR, Oklahoma State

By the numbers:

5'11", 193 pounds per Senior Bowl measurements.

2020: 59 receptions for 922 yards and six touchdowns in 10 games played.

Positives:

Tylan Wallace's ball skills are among the best in a stacked 2021 wide receiver class. He high-points the ball with good body control, plays much larger than he's measured at and is a pure hands catcher. He's a good overall athlete who displays physicality in run blocking and after the catch. Oklahoma State frequently targeted Wallace on screen passes and allowed him to show off his plus short-area burst. 

Wallace is a sudden mover and implements head fakes that make him an interesting route runner. He's technically sound, moves with fluidity and is deliberate with his cuts. He also put up some quality reps against press coverage, which was (and still is, to some) a trouble spot in the past. There's still more work to do, but Wallace has the foundation of a complete receiver.

Negatives:

Mike Gundy and his staff didn't require Wallace to run a full route tree, so that will need to be developed. He shows the ability to run crisp routes, so it shouldn't be a huge challenge. With that said, it may slightly limit his role until he gets all nine routes — and their variations — down pat. 

While Wallace faced a bit more press-man coverage this past season than in the past, the jury is still out on whether he can beat it. His technique seems to be improved, but NFL corners will make him prove that time and time again. He plays a physical brand of football and does have a swim/shove-aside move in his back pocket for situations like that. 

Injury concerns with Wallace aren't major but are still worth noting. He has a recent history of knee injuries, including a torn ACL in 2019. He bounced back and looked good in 2020, so it doesn't appear that it robbed him of any athleticism. 

How Wallace fits with the Chiefs:

With the Chiefs possibly losing Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson to free agency, they'll be on the market for at least one wide receiver. Wallace has the tools to be a prototypical "X" receiver (X-WR) despite playing more of the "Z" role in college. He'd greatly benefit from playing in a system like Andy Reid's. A marriage between the two sides makes a ton of sense.

Final Thoughts:

Wallace has a lot to offer NFL teams, and boasting elite ball skills and great hands is a good start. He isn't a polished route runner, but the potential is there for him to become one. Reid and Patrick Mahomes have the ability to maximize his talents, and the need is certainly there. Wallace likely won't be available at the end of the third round so, from a Chiefs-centric perspective, he makes sense as an option at the very end of the second round

Read More: Arrowhead Report's 100 Players in 100 Days: A Kansas City Chiefs Draft Guide.