It's make or break for LA Rams WR Tutu Atwell in his contract year

As LA Rams WR Tutu Atwell has improved, his chances of succeeding on this roster have decreased. How can that be, and can Atwell impress enough in 2024 to warrant a contract extension? Let's discuss
Los Angeles Rams Minicamp, Tre Tomlinson, Tutu Atwell
Los Angeles Rams Minicamp, Tre Tomlinson, Tutu Atwell / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages
1 of 6

Is this the year that the LA Rams offense figures out what to do with veteran wide receiver Tutu Atwell and then executes that plan when the new NFL season starts.

While you can't coach speed, do NFL coaches truly appreciate that attribute? In some ways, you can argue that speed is something that every NFL team seems to gravitate towards when it comes to the annual NFL Draft and the speed factor of potential prospects. Fast players seem to be selected sooner than other characteristics.

But converting raw speed into NFL production is another matter altogether. You can look back to the NFL career of speedster WR John Ross. Despite his selection as the ninth overall player chosen in the 2017 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, he never seemed to have the opportunity or forte to convert that speed into NFL yardage. In five NFL seasons, and in appearing in just 37 games, he caught just 62 of 143 passes for 957 yards and 11 touchdowns.

That was hardly the type of production that warranted a first-round selection of any wide receiver, much less the ninth overall player chosen. To be fair, Ross stepped away from the game after the 2021 NFL season. That means that while he attempted to compete, he ultimately surrendered with the Kansas City Chiefs in June 2023. But he is attempting a comeback with the Philadelphia Eagles this year:

Another speedster who has similar challenges is speedy WR Xavier Worthy, a fast moving wide receiver who was recently drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs. As you can see in the simulation below, both Worthy and Ross possess blazing speed. And as such, both players received a lot of positive reports and interest from NFL teams during the NFL Draft.

But NFL speedsters are built like gazelles and cheetahs. Being built for speed typically entails sleek thin frames with long strides that churn out yardage at an unmatchable pace. But is that enough in the NFL? For Xavier Worthy, he and his player representatives certainly hope so.