The Los Angeles Rams are in a transitional period and one of the objectives this season should be to get a nice look at the younger players on the roster – including former second-round pick, Tutu Atwell. With Week 1 right around the corner, The Ringer’s Ben Solak penned Atwell as the Rams’ X-factor for the 2023 season.
Here is a snippet of what Solak wrote about Atwell entering the upcoming season:
Even before Cooper Kupp’s hamstring setback, Tutu Atwell was an important player for the Rams, who had a big open spot at WR3 behind Kupp and Van Jefferson. Now that Kupp’s status for the beginning of the season is in question, Atwell will have even more opportunity to earn QB Matthew Stafford’s trust.
Atwell is entering his third year with the Rams after the team surprisingly used the 57th overall pick of the 2021 NFL draft on him. The undersized, dynamic wideout would fail to record any stats as a rookie in 2021, but he showed flashes in 2022 despite the Rams struggling offensively.
In his second season, Atwell hauled in 18 passes for 298 yards and a touchdown, while he also turned nine rushing attempts into 34 yards and another score. Entering this season, there’s a chance Atwell could garner an increased role with Cooper Kupp dealing with a hamstring injury and Van Jefferson cemented as the No. 2 receiver.
Since the start of OTAs, the Rams have tried deploying Atwell in different spots, allowing the young pass catcher to showcase what he can do aside from running in a straight line out of the slot. Sean McVay prefers his wide receivers to contribute in both facets of the offense, so being limited to a vertical role in the passing game would limit Atwell’s playing time.
Expectations aren’t lofty for the Rams and Atwell is a player that could emerge as a solid player in McVay’s offense in his third season.