TNIAAM will be breaking down all of the Syracuse football players who will warrant consideration in the 2017 NFL Draft, prior to the event next Thursday, April 27, on ESPN. John already kicked things off by profiling wide receiver and return man Brisly Estime.
Next up is Amba Etta-Tawo.
Name: Amba Etta-Tawo
Weight: 202 lbs.
Hometown: Powder Springs, Ga.
NFL Draft Projections: 6th-7th rd.
Senior Stats: 94 receptions for 1,482 yards and 14 touchdowns
Career Stats: 155 receptions for 2,420 yards and 17 touchdowns
Game to Watch: 2016 vs. UConn (12 catches for 270 yards and two touchdowns)
Combine Performance: 4.49-second 40-yard-dash, 14 bench press reps, 31" vertical jump, 10'5" broad jump, 4.32-second shuttle run and 6.95-second 3-cone drill
Pro Day Performance: 4.35-second 40-yard dash, 33” vertical jump
Scout Visits: Etta-Tawo has met with “most of the NFL’s 32 teams,” Syracuse.com’s Nate Mink previously reported in late March.
Etta-Tawo is is a tall, yet speedy wideout who excelled as a big-play, deep ball receiver in his lone season with the Orange. Despite having to catch passes from three different quarterbacks, Etta-Tawo set the Syracuse single-season record for receptions (94), receiving yards (1,482) and receiving yards per game (123.5).
In addition to his prolific stats, Etta-Tawo also shined at Syracuse’s Pro Day, improving on an already admirable Scouting Combine numbers. His 4.35-second 40-yard dash time would have ranked third at the combine, behind only Washington’s John Ross and Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel. While raw, Etta-Tawo possesses the perfect combination of speed and size that NFL coaches typically drool over.
Despite producing the greatest single season for a receiver in Syracuse history, there are a number of concerns that come with drafting Etta-Tawo. For one, Etta-Tawo’s 2016 explosion came out of nowhere, as he struggled his previous three years at Maryland.
There is also the issue of drops, something that plagued Etta-Tawo at Maryland and continued for the first half of last season. Scouts are also concerned with Etta-Tawo’s lack of experience as a route runner, as he was asked to primarily run go routes and bubble screens in his lone season at Syracuse.
Fun Fact(s): Etta-Tawo said he didn’t need a “sales pitch” from Dino Babers prior to deciding to transfer to Syracuse because he witnessed firsthand the damage Babers’ offense can cause in 2015, when Etta-Tawo was still at Maryland and the Terps were dismantled by Babers and Bowling Green 48-27.
TNIAAM Draft Prediction: Despite Etta-Tawo’s lofty 2016 numbers, he will most likely be selected in the early-to-mid 6th round in next week’s draft.
Additional Reading: If you care to read a more in-depth look at Etta-Tawo’s unique draft predicament, then check out “Amba Etta-Tawo is a draft day enigma.”