PFF scouting report: Amba Etta-Tawo, WR, Syracuse
Name: Amba Etta-Tawo
Position fit: Outside receiver
Stats to know: Etta-Tawo’s 687 yards gained on deep receptions (20-plus yards in the air) ranked eighth in the NCAA, and his eight total touchdowns on deep receptions ranked seventh.
What he does best:
- Good size, length, and speed for a field-stretching receiver. Etta-Tawo showed the ability to get behind the defense on straight runs and also go up and get off target passes
- Hands improved throughout the season. Dropped six of first 57 catchable targets before dropping just one of his remaining 44 targets. Catches the ball away from his body with his hands with long reach.
- Good press beating receiver. Showed quick footwork and some hands at release in order to quickly get past press defenders.
- Showed some burst out of his breaks on the rare routes in which he had to break.
- Huge production last year despite lackluster quarterbacks. Saw a lot of potential yards left on the table due to poor throws.
- Limited route-runner. Was not asked to run many in Syracuse offense and on rare occasions that he ran something other than a go or a screen, he had mostly rounded routes and didn’t show much.
- Not very physical at the catch point at all. Would often find himself getting bodied around by defenders and not fighting for catch.
- Syracuse offense stretched defense very thin and gave him more opportunities against just one defender.
- Struggled in the Senior Bowl drills.
- Only one year of production, very raw and will need a lot of refinement in his game all around.
Player comparison: Sammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers
Coates came into the league as a very raw receiver who could beat defenders deep but needed to develop other aspects of his game to find NFL success. Right now he’s still working on it, but has carved out a role as a part-time field stretcher for the Steelers, a role similar to what Etta-Tawo could end up in early on.
Bottom line: Etta-Tawo shot out of nowhere this season to become one of the most productive receivers in college football. But taking a closer look at his tape shows there’s a bit more to the story. Etta-Tawo has some skills, such as his quick release and good hands downfield which make him a viable deep threat. But his game lacks refinement and his lack of route running will be a concern for NFL teams. His Senior Bowl performance wasn’t as good as it could’ve been so he’ll likely see his stock fall a little. But Etta-Tawo does have some potential and could develop into a solid receiver down the road.