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NFL Draft Scouting Report: Amba Etta Tawo, WR, Syracuse

NFL Draft Scouting Report: Amba Etta Tawo, WR, Syracuse

 

Amba Etta-Tawo - Syracuse

Position: Wide Receiver

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 202

Year: Senior

Hometown: Novato, CA

Experience: RS Sr.

 

Measurables:

40yd dash: 4.49s

Broad jump: 126 in.

Vertical: 31 in.

3-cone: 6.95

20yd. Shuttle: 4.32s

Bench Press: 14 reps

 

Career Notes:

Etta-Tawo spent his first year on campus at Maryland as a redshirt player. Over the next two seasons, he caught passes for big gains, but he was not pivotal for the Maryland offense, only snagging thirty combined catches in his sophomore and junior seasons for the Terrapins

After his two-year stint with Maryland Etta-Tawo transferred to Syracuse and his play was allowed to flourish over the course of the 2016 season. He tripled his number of receptions and still maintained an impressive 15 yards per catch. He now holds numerous Syracuse receiving records including most receptions, most receiving yards, most receiving yards. Though football wasn’t quite as vertical two decades ago, it remains impressive that Etta-Tawo holds receiving records at the same university of the decorated Marvin Harrison.

There is no way to say whether his performance in 2016 is replicable, but if you believe this season was just the beginning for Etta-Tawo, he is an exciting prospect. At 23 years old, his flashes are pretty bright, however, he does have some head-scratching drops.

 

Injury Report:

Though he was limited in his two years at Maryland, his performance was limited by coaching decisions and not injuries. Etta-Tawo remained healthy in 2016.

 

Career Stats (click here): 

 

Analysis:

Speed/Quickness 3.5/5.0: Etta-Tawo made a habit of catching vertical passes outside, and jump-cutting inside to elude defenders. He also had multiple catches on bubble screens which turned into first downs. He was able to separate from a lot of ACC speed and was difficult to run down once he got beyond defenders.

Route Running 3.0/5.0: Against man and press coverage, he adjusted routes well and was particularly adept at finding the outside on fades, while still giving himself enough room to make something happen after the catch. He was not often challenged to use his hands in press situations, as he would use footwork to turn defenders around. Against zone coverage, he was adept in finding soft spots on deep curls and digs. He always seemed to know where the sticks were and could quickly adjust routes to ensure that he would find a first down on half of his catches. His final game against Virginia Tech did expose some of his deficiencies against the zone, as he could not get open on shorter routes and would not improvise or sink to soft spots after his initial look was covered.

Hands 3.5/5.0: About once a game, you can count on Etta-Tawo to drop a pass that he probably should have caught. He catches with his hands away from his body a lot, and flexes a tremendous ability to locate the ball at its high point to best position himself for the catch. Sometimes he gets into trouble when he brings his hands up just a split-second before he has fully found the ball resulting in a concentration drop.

YAC Ability 4.5/5.0: The dude reads the field about as well as you could hope, and he has so many mid-level catches that he breaks for huge gains. As noted earlier, he has shown a capacity for finding soft spots in zones, even if he doesn’t find them all the time. One small thing he does that makes a huge difference is how he anticipates passes on curls. He gets great depth, and when he comes back to the ball, he quickly plants a foot to turn upfield. He makes a similar plant-and-run on bubble screens as well. That reaction alone got him numerous first downs when surrounded by defenders.

Blocking 2.5/5.0: He is a serviceable blocker who can be trusted to box out defenders, but you won’t find him down the field dogging safeties for big gains. He fills his role. Nothing great, but certainly not a liability, which is all you’re looking for at this spot.

Summary: To borrow an analogy from baseball, if you take Etta-Tawo, you’re taking the home run ability with a tendency to strikeout. His highlight reel from 2016 alone is nothing but deep touchdowns and first downs that shouldn’t have been first downs. His creative ability is transferrable to any offense: in a spread, he’ll be a deep threat that can find space and occasionally create separation; in a west coast system, he can be counted on to make first downs out of 2nd and 7s and 3rd and 4s. He just has to sure up his drops.

 

Overall Grade: 3.4/5.0

 

If drafted by the Packers:

Etta-Tawo becomes a viable option late in Day 2 and Day 3 of the draft. He has flashed a creative mind that would complement Rodgers’ improvisational play. With a range of skills, he could plug a possible need in the coming offseasons. This is likely the final season Green Bay will feature the Nelson-Cobb-Adams triad. Both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are making $11 million and $12 million over the next two years as Davante Adams enters the final year of his rookie contract in 2017. If the Packers re-sign Adams, they would be wise to release one of the veteran receivers next offseason. If they don’t bring back Adams for the 2018 season, Etta-Tawo could plug the role Adams plays as a release valve with strong hands, in spite of occasional drops.

 

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