A dual-threat quarterback at Northwestern High School in Miami, Atwell made a quick transition to receiver as a true freshman at Louisville in 2018, finishing fourth on the team with 24 receptions for 406 yards and two scores. A year later, he led the ACC in receiving yards (1,276) and touchdowns (12), averaging 18.2 yards per catch. With just nine games in 2020, Atwell's numbers slipped but he still showed the natural playmaking ability every team is hoping to add to the roster.
Strengths: Lightning in a bottle. Possesses explosive straight-line speed, including an immediate burst off the line to force cornerbacks onto their heels. Balanced and coordinated athlete able to sink his hips and change directions without significantly slowing down, creating space and somewhat mitigating Atwell's diminutive catch radius. Surprisingly savvy pass-catcher, showing good hand strength and concentration to snatch the ball away from his frame. Quite effective on jet sweeps, using his speed to ruin pursuit angles. Offers trick-play potential due to his background at quarterback.
Weaknesses: Physically overmatched, at times, especially in jump-ball situations where Atwell shows just average strength and timing. Struggled in high-profile matchup against Clemson, dropping a potential touchdown and losing a fumble. Very much a work in progress as a route-runner, needing to incorporate more variety in his approach to complement his speed. Limited experience as a returner, fielding just four punts last year.
Pro comparison: Marquise "Hollywood" Brown, Ravens -- Like the 5-9, 170-pound Brown, it is good that Atwell can fly because a stiff breeze can knock either player off their feet. It is hard for defenders to hit what they can't catch, however, and both receivers' ability to stretch the field vertically on deep passes, as well as horizontally on jet-sweeps, makes each more than just a one-trick pony.