Kasey Dunn has been out of the NFL for more than a decade, but his two years as a running backs coach for the Seattle Seahawks gave him a little perspective for what several former Oklahoma State players are going through right now.
Oklahoma State is hosting its pro day Thursday, which is more important than in previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic preventing the annual NFL Draft Combine from taking place.
And Dunn foresees a fortuitous future for one of the top prospects that will be on display. That, of course, is Dunn’s latest receiving prospect in Tylan Wallace.
“I think he is a Jack of all trades,” the second-year OSU offensive coordinator said. “I think they play him inside, outside. I think he’s going to be that guy who can go in and make a critical block. I think he’s going to be dynamic on special teams.
“I think he’s going to play for a long time.”
The Fort Worth, Texas, native is rated as the 10th-best receiving prospect in the class – and rated 70th overall – by ESPN.
It’s unlikely Wallace will be a first-round pick with the amount of talent at the position – with the top five rated receivers being considered worthy of first-round grades.
“The hard part is, you start looking at the kids that are in this draft,” Dunn said. “… You start looking at some of those guys, like a DeVonta Smith (who just won the Heisman Trophy), and all those guys are so good. But I don’t know what their character is. But I know this, Tylan’s going to play for a long time and make somebody damn happy.”
One of Wallace’s biggest attributes he had on display during his Cowboy career echoes the ability of another former Cowboy great.
In an interview with Pro Football Focus, Wallace was asked if there were any NFL receivers he tries to emulate. There weren’t any current stars, but he did reference a former one with OSU ties.
“Growing up, I watched a lot of Dez Bryant – being from Fort Worth, Texas, and the Cowboys was (sic) my team,” Wallace said. “So, I watched a lot of him growing up, and the way he high-pointed the football kind of inspired me to play receiver that same way.”
Online draft analysts have made point of Wallace’s ability to make plays downfield, as well.
According to Athlon Sports’ draft analysis, “When working downfield, he’s excellent tracking the ball, and has the rare body control and flexibility to adjust for the difficult catch. … He attacks the ball in contested-catch situations.”
However, that same website draws concerns about his size – he was listed at 6-foot, 190-pounds for the Pokes last season – as well as his ACL tear in October 2019.
He’s already tried to put to rest concerns about that injury, though.
Wallace took part in a form of pro day at the end of February, where he reportedly clocked a 4.39-second 40-yard dash at an athlete training organization called Exos that held a combine-like event in the DFW Metroplex.
In a conference call in early March, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. was impressed with how Wallace returned from the injury that ended his 2019 season, and also by Wallace’s decision to play in the bowl game – competing in the first half before the decision was made for him to sit the remainder of the game.
“I think he could go second or third round, very easily,” Kiper said in that call.
There has been no word what Wallace, or any of the other Oklahoma State pro prospects will elect to participate in during Thursday's pro day on the Oklahoma State campus. But they all are expected to be in attendance – at the very least to talk with pro scouts, as well as field questions by the media.
Among those expected to be in attendance is running back Chuba Hubbard – the ninth-rated running back in the class by ESPN – along with Teven Jenkins (ranked fourth among offensive tackles, and 27th overall), Rodarius Williams, Amen Ogbongbemiga and Dillon Stoner.
The pro day is closed to the public, but the News Press will be covering the event. Check stwnewspress.com for complete coverage.