Marcell Ateman, WR
School: Oklahoma State | Conference: BIG 12
College Experience: rSr | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 216 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 3rd Round
NFL Comparison: Mike Williams
Marcell Ateman was just one of the weapons at Mason Rudolph's disposal over the past few seasons. Ateman was the size and possession option complimentary to James Washington's speed on the other side but make no mistake Ateman has the physical and athletic tools to stretch the field also. His production really took off once Rudolph was named the starter in 2015 and he went on to have a decent season putting up almost 770 receiving yards. In 2016 Ateman missed the entire season because of a foot injury he suffered before the season started. This past season Ateman made a strong comeback and posted career highs in both receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. He has elite size for the position and unlike some other big-bodied prospects in the draft, he is much further along in knowing when to use his size to his advantage and at times can be dominant with his physicality. You can see this also with him as a blocker. He has good hands and can be a threat on short routes, deep routes, and especially in the end zone. What is most impressive about Ateman is his athleticism for such a big guy. He has some quickness to him and he can be dangerous after the catch and is rumored to be aiming for a 4.45 40 during the combine. He does have his issues that need to be corrected namely his route running and the nuance that goes into that. He needs to be more consistent with the strength in his hands and physicality at the catch point as athletic and competitive CBs will challenge him much more than the BIG 12 defenses. All in all, teams looking for a huge receiving target with above average athleticism who can be a threat short, deep, and in the red zone will be looking at Ateman.
- Excellent size for the position and presents a mismatch outright. Above average athleticism for his size and can work quickly after the catch and at the top of his routes.
- Uses his size and physicality well more times than he doesn't. Can go up and snatch the ball away from defenders, use his body to box out. His length gives him a large catch radius and he has good body control which makes him dangerous on boundary throws and in the red zone. Interested and active as a blocker for his teammates.
- Good hands that overall are very reliable.
- Needs to clean up his route running. A bit slow off the LOS and it takes a couple steps for him to get to speed. Needs to sell the route, run it more crisply and perhaps most importantly stop rounding them off at the end.
- Needs to play to his size 100% of the time. Sometimes he’ll wait for the ball to come to him in tight coverage instead of attacking it and maybe a bit overconfident in his physical traits. Hands need to remain strong throughout the process. Has had scrappy CBs pry the ball away from his grasp.
- I wish the routes he ran at OKST were even more varied. I would really like to see how he fairs over the middle on slants, deep posts etc.
Let’s see his work:
Marcell Ateman's route tree of best routes is a thing of beauty pic.twitter.com/jr77GsEbz7— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 9, 2018
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
With each profile, I write about an interesting prospect that is projected to go in the third round of the draft a piece of my soul dies a little. I really like Ateman as a prospect and though he is no Terrell Pryor circa the Cleveland Browns I don’t think the staff had a bad idea with trying to pair another big athletic target with Doctson. They may try and give it another go in a draft with a larger receiver and I think Ateman would fit the bill nicely. If Ateman does run a 4.45 or lower that would make a step or two quicker than Doctson and while it’s not 4.3 it makes him another legit option to help stretch the field which could help out guys like Crowder and Reed. It goes without saying that he would also present other red zone option for Alex Smith. Ateman can also work underneath and get YAC and could be more of a possession option as opposed to Doctson. He also isn't a slouch when the ball isn't in his hands and he might be one of the better blockers in this class when it comes to effort. I don't know much about the Redskins receiving coaches but when it comes to Atemans weaknesses I know all of them are coachable particularly the prospect of cleaning up routes. If Ateman can work on that he has enough upside to present a good value to the team that selects him.