As a wide receiver at Louisville, Chatarius "Tutu" Atwell was a star, earning all-conference honors in his last two seasons. But after taking him in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams have bigger plans for him.
Last week Atwell was slotted in a candidate for primary punt returner - a role he did not play in college. And as of today, McVay is very pleased by the progress Atwell has shown in the new position.
“He’s done a good job so far. You can see a lot of the things we liked looking at his film throughout the course of his career at Louisville,” McVay said, via USAToday.com. “He’s come out here and done a good job trying to pick things up. There’s a lot of information that we’re throwing at him in a short amount of time, but could definitely feel that speed. We’ve got a lot of guys that are potential candidates to be punt returners for us and we’ve got a long time to figure that out, but been pleased with Tutu so far, for sure.”
As high as McVay's praise for Atwell was, he stopped short of declaring him the new punt returner. He made it clear that he's got a lot of time to figure out who he wants to give the role to.
But for now, he likes what he sees.
In 2019, Tutu Atwell's sophomore season at Louisville, he had 69 receptions for 1,272 yards and 11 touchdowns. He even threw a touchdown pass in the Cardinals' Music City Bowl win over Mississippi State.
The following year, Atwell played in just nine of Louisvile's 11 games before an injury ended his season. He opted out of his senior year to enter the NFL Draft, where the Rams picked him 57th overall.
For a team that reached the playoffs in 2020, expectations will be high for everyone to elevate the team to Super Bowl potential in 2021. A big rookie season from Atwell will go a long way towards making that a reality.
How do you think Tutu Atwell will perform at punt returner for the Rams?