Wide Receiver #15 – Tutu Atwell
In the 2021 NFL Draft, the LA Rams selected wide receiver, Tutu Atwell, out of the University of Louisville with their 57th overall pick. To say that his selection was a bit controversial and confusing is a bit of an understatement. The Rams needed big beefy bodies to help reinforce the depleted ranks of their offensive line. Atwell was not an offensive lineman.
Instead, he is a 5-foot-9 and quite generously weighed 165-pound young wide receiver who has undeniable speed. He also has a host of durability concerns. Unlike the buzz about a deep threat receiver, a starting punt return role, and even the potential for a solid rookie season, Atwell was unable to deliver much in his first NFL season.
Atwell finished his rookie campaign with 10 punt returns for 54 yards and five kick returns for 87 yards over the course of eight games. Unfortunately, his rookie season was cut short in November, when the Rams placed him on injured reserve due to a serious injury, which resulted in him undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery.
Atwell seemed to be intended for a role similar to what veteran wide receiver DeSean Jackson filled for the Rams. With his amazing 4.32-second 40-yard speed, Atwell was projected to create big plays for the LA Rams. After the Rams waived Jackson in November of 2021, the offense seemed to lack that consistent deep-ball threat. Second-year wide receiver Van Jefferson was a solid contributor to the wide receiver group but was inconsistent on the deep ball. If Atwell can stay healthy, look for Atwell and Stafford to work on putting some deep ball duress on defense secondaries.