HEIGHT: 5'8 7/8"
— Very good athlete with excellent acceleration. Gets to top speed in a hurry and can consistently take the top off a defense with his speed or take a shorter throw or screen the distance.
— Very good ball-tracker with the balance and athleticism to adjust his speed to do so. Viable weapon on deep routes thanks to his ability to come down with the ball. Consistently able to track deep throws going full speed and showcases his speed, hands and body control when doing so.
— Above-average overall hands. Comfortable snagging throws away from his body or adjusting his hands on deep throws.
— Has a good feel on intermediate routes, consistently stays friendly to the QB and does not waver on his path.
— Shows good toughness in his play. Will compete while blocking in the run game despite his small frame.
— Rises up during his routes and seems to "count steps" when running to time up his break. Needs to keep refining details on his route running because of his limited route tree.
— Below-average height and poor bulk for a WR. Will have a limited ability to line up on the outside and will need to be schemed open.
— Mostly ran intermediate and deep routes from the slot position. Size might limit his ability to consistently play outside, and he may have a limited route tree when he enters the NFL.
— Doesn't fight the ball, but drops do come up.
9 G, 46 rec., 625 yds., 13.6 avg., 8 total TD
— Led ACC in receiving in 2019.
Atwell is a speedy receiver who primarily lined up in the slot in college. He plays with a competitive streak that, when combined with his above-average hands and very good ball-tracking ability, allows him to be a consistent deep threat on every play. He has top-tier acceleration and speed that allows him to threaten safeties on vertical routes and can also take any shorter route the distance. Atwell mostly lined up in the slot to give him space to operate, and whether he can consistently win outside will be the biggest question mark because of his poor size.
Atwell's size limitations and a lack of polish on non-vertical routes or even play on the outside, along with a limited history of being a returner, will limit his ability to make an impact every down and make him a super-role player teams put in to take the top off defenses or draw up plays for.
GRADE: 7.2/10 (Future role player, 4th-5th round)
OVERALL RANK: 147/300
POSITION RANK: WR22
PRO COMPARISON: Taylor Gabriel
Written by B/R NFL Scout Nate Tice