It is full-blown NFL Draft speculation season. Anyone with a keyboard and WiFi password suddenly becomes an expert on what their team needs to do next week in Cleveland. This guy is no different. I, too, fill my brain up by poring over every Green Bay Packers rumor and drawing conclusions that obviously must be correct.
While most prognosticators lean towards the Packers addressing defense early, do not forget the name Tylan Wallace. He was a stud at Oklahoma State. While he won’t burn you with his speed, he has the ultimate confidence in himself as a wideout who will get physical and utilize his playmaking ability.
Perhaps Wallace’s best trait is his ability to high-point balls and make consistent plays on 50/50 passes. Matt LaFleur’s offensive scheme often gets receivers open, but there is always a need for a wideout who can make plays in traffic when things start to break down. Giving Aaron Rodgers an option like Wallace would be lethal. Feast your eyes on some of these.
So why the infatuation with Wallace?
Wallace makes all the sense for Green Bay, given what he would provide at the position and where he’s slotted to go in the draft. Top-ranked pass-catchers Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, and Ja’Marr Chase will likely be off the board somewhere in the top 15. The other names in the second tier of receivers like Rondale Moore, Rashod Bateman, Terrace Marshall, and Kadarius Toney still figure to go late in Round 1 or early in Round 2. If the Packers focus on defense in the first round as many fans prefer they do, it would likely take them out of contention for any of those guys. On the other hand, Wallace will be available late in the second round or even early in the third.
This doesn’t have to be a draft where the Packers pick one route and stick to it. Yes, there are clear needs on defense, but it’s possible the Packers can address those and still eat their cake, too, with a wideout like Tylan Wallace. It’s become apparent from their other offseason moves that they’re trying to jam into a narrowing Super Bowl window in the next couple of seasons. Wallace can certainly be an asset from the get-go and wouldn’t require the Packers to use their first-round pick to get him.
Adding Wallace to the wide receiver room would mean immediate competition for the third receiver position on the roster. Davante Adams is WR1, not just in Green Bay, but in the NFL. Marquez Valdes-Scantling did enough to warrant a chance to earn that clear-cut No. 2 wideout spot for next year. Wallace would absolutely be in line to snag the No. 3 spot on the depth chart and could even challenge for WR2. He’s that gifted.
Regardless of Green Bay’s plan of attack next week in Cleveland, we beg you: Please, Brian Gutekunst, for the love of everything good in this world, draft a wideout sometime in the Year of Our Lord and Savior, 2021. If they don’t take a wide receiver at some point in this draft, Packers Twitter may spontaneously combust.
Last year was supposed to be the draft where they addressed the wide receiver spot early. They didn’t take a single one. If it gets to Round 7 this year and they still haven’t selected a wideout, Gutekunst and the rest of the brain trust would be wise to take a flyer on a receiver just so they can hold up the draft card to prove they technically addressed the spot.
The issue this year is that Green Bay has a few glaring needs on defense that would seem to take priority if the Packers go with need over the best available player. Spots like a second cornerback, a defensive lineman next to Kenny Clark, and perhaps even an inside linebacker come to mind. So go defense first; that’s cool.
But after that, they may not need to look much further than Tylan Wallace if they want a wideout beyond the first round who can still come in right away and give the receiving corpse a shot in the arm. The Packers have had plenty of luck drafting wideouts in round two in years past (Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, that one guy from Western Michigan who was envious of Rodgers — oh yeah, Greg Jennings). Wallace could be the next great one.