Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State: 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 28: Wide receiver Marcell Ateman
ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 28: Wide receiver Marcell Ateman /
ORLANDO, FL – DECEMBER 28: Wide receiver Marcell Ateman
ORLANDO, FL – DECEMBER 28: Wide receiver Marcell Ateman /

Marcell Ateman has a chance to be one of the more unheralded members of the 2018 NFL draft. What does his scouting report give back?

Position:  WR

School:  Oklahoma State

Year:  Senior

Height:  6’4″

Weight:  220 lbs


  • Highly productive over the final two years of his college career despite not being the primary receiver in the offense. Became a major red zone threat (13 TDs in two years).
  • Right off the bat it’s easy to see the obvious advantage. Ateman has both height and reach to his advantage, allowing him to shield away defenders from the ball.
  • Fairly thick and strong. Not a string bean given his size and can show it when he runs with some power after the catch.
  • Size and strength translate well for him as a blocker. He takes the job seriously, blocking consistently down the field.

Fans will be entirely focused on the catches he made in college but rest assured coaches and scouts are going to be gushing over clips like this. One thing teams love is an unselfish player. Ateman does his job and then some with this downfield block that sprang his running back for a touchdown. This is the sort of stuff that gets a man drafted early.

  • For a guy with his build and size he’s actually a fairly solid route runner. Shows an ability make precise cuts to give himself that extra bit of space.
  • If a quarterback is looking for the tough catch that he needs to have, Ateman is the guy who can get it. Routinely able to outbattle DBs for that 50/50 ball.


  • Comes off the snap a bit lazily. Not the most explosive and needs an extra second to build his acceleration and speed.
  • Has a tendency to let the ball into his body on a lot of his catches. This could lead to some problems with drops.
  • Though his hands aren’t bad they aren’t the most natural. Doesn’t always look comfortable catching with them. Leaves a lot of balls out there that should’ve been caught.
  • Tends to get a bit too aggressive with his hands when contacting the defensive backs. This will lead to a lot of offensive pass interference calls.
  • He’s going to be 24-years old this September. Teams won’t spend a high pick on that unless you’re elite.

Pro Comparison:  Brandon Marshall

Watch Ateman for long enough and the similarities are rather surprising. He shares the same height, build and style of play as Marshall did. He’s not quite as thick as Marshall now but that can be corrected with NFL training. Everything from the physicality to the wide catch radius, sneaky speed and inconsistent hands are there. It’s a remarkably close comparison. Ateman of course doesn’t have the mental concerns either.

Projection:  3rd round

So why is Ateman going so late given such a comparison? Remember that Marshall was a 4th round pick. He has the potential to be great but certain parts of his game offered red flags. It’s the same with Ateman. He’s also older than the average draft prospect and that’s going to knock down his stock a little as well. Still, any team that drafts him will get an exciting talent.