WR Tutu Atwell, Louisville* (5’9”, 165)

Background:

Was a dual-threat quarterback in high school but converted to receiver when he arrived at Louisville. Finished fourth on the team in receiving as a freshman, posting 24-406-2 (16.9), then stepped into the starting lineup and went 70-1,276-12 (18.2) as a sophomore and 46-625-7 (13.6) as a junior before declaring for the draft.

Positives:

Lined up in the slot for Louisville, often being motioned across the formation prior to the snap. Ran a lot of routes into the flats and was also used as window dressing to pull the defense away from the play direction or to provide an option for jet sweeps or tosses; also commonly targeted on short patterns underneath zone coverage. Can run intermediate/deep corner routes or work across the field on intermediate patterns. A true deep threat speed-wise; eats up cushions quickly and works in head fakes to set up defenders downfield. Has excellent acceleration and top-end speed for the receiver position and is capable of breaking big plays when he finds a crease on sweeps. Looks comfortable plucking the ball away from his frame, with good body control. Can make defenders miss in the open field with impressive stop-start and change-of-direction skills. Pretty competitive, no-nonsense approach after the catch to pick up additional yardage. Gives pretty good effort as a stalk blocker from the slot. Could have been even more productive if not for poorly-thrown deep balls. Only converted to receiver in college so he sshould still have some untapped potential.

Negatives:

Definitely on the smaller side for a pro receiver, even in the slot. May struggle to release at the line of scrimmage against press coverage. Route tree was pretty limited at the college level, with many of his patterns being releases into the flats or clearing routes. Mostly operated under the defense, so didn’t get to see him try to create separation with his release or by sinking his hips into the route stem and exploding out. A lot of his production came on easy throws with loose or nonexistant coverage. Runs himself into some trouble against zone and struggles to shield defenders. Radius is pretty good for his size but doesn’t offer quarterbacks much margin of error on their throws. Struggles to make contested catches. Efficacy as a blocker is constrained by his lack of size/strength. Wasn’t as dangerous this past season as he was in his sophomore campaign. Only returned four points at the college level, all of them coming in his sophomore campaign.

Summary:

An undersized slot receiver who has excellent athleticism but is somewhat difficult to evaluate because his usage at the college level was limited, both in terms of the route tree he tended to run and because he didn’t return punts or line up on the outside of the formation. Could go on the second day but doesn’t answer all of the questions on tape because of how he was used.

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