The most controversial draft pick of the Sean McVay era is probably Tutu Atwell, a title that he probably does not deserve given that as a former late second round pick, there shouldn’t be that much pressure to excel. But for the Los Angeles Rams, a team that has never made a first round pick in the McVay era, Atwell is one of the highest-drafted players in this era of the franchise.
On most teams, Atwell could hang in the shadows a little bit while he develops. For the Rams, he became the number one prospect and many fans voiced displeasure over his size and the fact that he is not Creed Humphrey or another offensive lineman. Atwell has handled himself admirably in the year and a half since he was drafted, especially given that McVay wasn’t giving him many opportunities to start proving himself to the fans.
I have always tried to preach patience to fans about Atwell because if he pans out, there’s no doubt he would become a fan favorite. We may be witnessing that right now and Sean McVay admitted on Monday that he had held back Tutu for too long.
Sean McVay acknowledges that Tutu Atwell "probably should have gotten more opportunities earlier in the season, and that's something I won't run away from, because all this guy has done is answer the bell when he's had his chances."— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) December 5, 2022
McVay says that Tutu Atwell “probably should have gotten more opportunities earlier in the season,” after the second-year receiver had two catches for 48 yards and four runs for 23 yards in Week 13’s loss to the Seahawks. Since the injuries to Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson opened the door for Atwell to get more targets, he has played in three games and caught five passes for 133 yards with a touchdown.
He nearly had a second touchdown on Sunday.
After not getting any targets during his injury-shortened rookie season, Atwell had five on Sunday, almost doubling his career total. With the Las Vegas Raiders on deck on Thursday, Atwell figures to be the L.A. quarterback’s favorite weapon. We just don’t know who that quarterback will be yet.
John Wolford started on Sunday but was banged up and could end up sitting out on a short week. Bryce Perkins would be the next man up again and Tutu Atwell could be the first person on his depth chart.