Where Atwell shows room for improvement
The biggest question this writer has when watching Atwell’s tape is whether or not he has a role outside of the slot and outside of a gadget role. In two wide receiver sets in 2019, Atwell was not even on the field, as Louisville tossed out two bigger receivers outside the numbers. Can he win outside the numbers and play there with a high volume of snaps? His tape does not quite show that.
When working across the middle of the field, Atwell shows the tendency to get washed and thrown of his track by linebackers in zone coverage. His size and catch radius are certainly an issue should the ball not be put close to his frame as well. Additionally, the route tree that Atwell is asked to run tends to be predominantly vertical and not super diverse.
If Atwell is working outside the numbers and vertically, he struggles to work back over the top and stack defensive backs, and has the tendency to get faded towards the sideline instead. His routes are not quite sharp, but given the vertical nature of the routes he is asked to run this is not a big issue at this point. However, it is an unknown whether or not Atwell can win underneath and across the middle instead of just shuffle passes around the edge and vertically down the field.