The Packers have lacked a true “slot” wide receiver since Randall Cobb left after the 2018 season. TuTu Atwell can come in and fight for that slot WR spot right away. Even if he cannot become the starting slot WR in year one, he has the all necessary tools to become the Packers’ new gadget player. We all saw the effect that Tyler Ervin had for the Packers when he was in motion. Tutu can become that guy for the Packers.
TuTu was a four-year starter at QB at Northwestern High School in Miami. Throughout his four-year high school career, he totaled over 1,500 rushing yards and 4,000 passing yards. Despite his success as a QB, he was deemed a 3-star recruit and only received two Power Five offers, Illinois and Louisville.
He was deemed too small to be a QB, at only 5’8”, so he transitioned to wide receiver when he went to Louisville. It didn’t take long for him to make his presence known as his first catch went for 30 yards in his first game.
His freshmen year, he led all Louisville receivers in yards per catch, averaging 16.9.
It wasn’t until his sophomore year where he really took off. His sophomore year, he had 69 receptions for 1,272 yards and 11 TDs, averaging 18.4 yards per catch. Along with his incredible receiving stats, Tutu also notched a 33-yard passing TD in the Music City Bowl to put the first points on the board for Louisville.
His performance in 2019 set the school record in receiving yards. He also led the ACC in receiving yards and was ranked 10th in the country in the same category. Because of his performance, he was given All-ACC first-team honors.
In his 2019 campaign, he had more yards than notable drafted WRs and draft prospects Jerry Jeudy, Brandon Aiyuk, Rashod Bateman, Devonta Smith, and Tee Higgins.
The pandemic and injuries shortened Atwell’s junior year, but he still posted an impressive 625 yards and 7 TDs on 46 catches. Most notably, he caught a TD pass in six of his nine games. He declared for the NFL draft at the end of the season and skipped the final game as he saw limited action near the end of the season because of injury.
Tutu had a great pro day. He showed very tight routes and caught every ball thrown his way. Which were both question marks surrounding him going into the draft. TuTu’s pro day. Drops had been a major issue for TuTu throughout his college career, so being able to complete every catch at his pro day bodes well for him. He had a limited route tree in college, but that looks to be improving based on what he showed at his pro day.
40 Time: 4.32 seconds
3-Cone: 6.87 seconds
Vertical: 33 inches
Broad Jump: 9’9”
Pros of TuTu Atwell
The first thing that jumps off the page for TuTu is his incredible speed. He clocked in at 4.32 speed at his pro day, but that doesn’t describe how fast he actually is. He’s been clocked in at 4.27 seconds before. Regardless of his actual 40-time, he has elite speed.
- He’s able to produce without elite QB play
- Has great separation speed off of his turns.
- Homerun potential (multiple 50+ yard TDs throughout his career)
- Is a TD threat on jet sweeps
- Is a TD threat whenever he touches the ball
Cons of TuTu Atwell
The big knock on TuTu is his size. On his pro day, he came in at 5’8” and 155 pounds. That’s small, even for slot WRs.
- He has a limited route tree
- Limited special teams experience (4 returns throughout his entire career, despite his speed)
- Not strong enough to make contested catches
NFL Player Comparison: Tyreek Hill
TuTu mirrors what Tyreek Hill looked like when he Hill was coming out of the draft. Hill was a small, speedy wide receiver with a limited route tree. TuTu is also a small, speedy wide receiver with a limited route tree. Hill developed his routes and became an elite deep threat in the league and an elite wide receiver.
TuTu hitting his potential will depend on where he is drafted. Green Bay or Kansas City are perfect landing spots for him. The Packers have the best route runner in the league, Davante Adams, to help TuTu improve his route running. Kansas City has Tyreek Hill, who is very similar to TuTu, and that similarity would help TuTu immensely.
TuTu is graded out as a player who could fall anywhere from the end of round 2 to the end of day 3. He has a vast range as to where he could be drafted. If he is available in the 3rd or 4th round, he is a must-pick for the Packers. He’s a low-floor, high-ceiling player. He is still an elite option as a gadget player for the Packers if he never pans out as a slot wide receiver.
Teams may pass on him because of his small size, but many teams did that with Hill and most likely regretted it. I would be surprised if TuTu makes it out of the 4th round, but stranger things have happened.
Projected Round: Late Third Round
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