It is certainly a mixed bag at this position. I am very torn at what to think of this group without seeing the All-22 game film of this team. I am not sold this is a group that is a position of strength on this team anymore.
Tutu Atwell is still Tutu Atwell. I think he is a better version of himself this year. His improvement catching the ball with his hands is immense. His touchdown reception against Georgia Tech is a play that I do not imagine him making in 2019. His drop percentage is way down this year. That is good news for the Cardinals.
I did say this was a mixed bag. Dez Fitzpatrick’s disappearing act throughout the course of games is not something you are looking for out of a senior. I believe he lacks good burst and long speed despite being a solid route runner and having a knack for spectacular catches.
After the first game of the season, I felt sold that Fitzpatrick was primed for his breakout year. Finally. That is not to be. After 11 receptions through the first two games, Fitzpatrick has two receptions in the last two games combined. They need more from him.
Justin Marshall is a downgrade from Seth Dawkins last year. I still like Marshall’s potential as this is his first year with a full-time role in the offense. But Marshall has five catches in four games.
Braden Smith had four catches for over 100 yards in game one. Since then, he has one catch in each of the last three games.
Somebody else needs to step up at this position is the theme. Tutu Atwell is keyed in on by defenses. The pop passes to him have been predictable and taken away by competent defenses. Perhaps working Atwell in motion and more fakes and trickery with that motion will help the offense.