Having spent the entire season on the practice squad, seventh round draft pick, Marcell Ateman has been promoted to the 53-man roster. Ateman will take the roster spot vacated with the trade of Amari Cooper.
The Raiders will not only be looking to replace Cooper’s production but also the 77.6 percent of the snaps he has played in this season. Ateman is a part of the youth movement that will include the debuts of fellow rookies Jason Cabinda and Nick Nelson.
Coming out of college, Ateman was seen as more of a big bodied, jump ball target in the red zone. However, throughout the preseason Ateman displayed that his skill set is much more diverse.
His combine 40-yard dash time was a 4.62, definitely not a burner but in the preseason he showed run after the catch the ability.
7th round pick Marcell Ateman showing some YAC ability. Has flashed a bit in preseason and training camp. pic.twitter.com/kd3P1Oj6QG— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) August 19, 2018
Another thing that was impressive about Ateman in the preseason was his hands.
Great catch by Ateman in traffic. I really hope he makes the team. pic.twitter.com/scWpgE8dtA— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) August 25, 2018
His plays in training camp and preseason weren’t enough to earn him a spot on the roster and he was waived and re-signed to the practice squad. After seven weeks, and with Amari Cooper now gone, Ateman is getting his shot. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson explains how Ataman earned it.
“Tremendous hands. He’s a guy that on the show team, he’s constantly making plays against out defense. He stands out as one of the show team practice squad players. Every day it seems like he’s making a contested catch. He possesses great size and great hands and it’s another opportunity for one of our young players to show what he can do,” said Olson Thursday.
With the season lost and the team in rebuilding mode, Ateman is one of several young players, including 8 of the team’s nine drafted rookies, who coaches will have the opportunity to evaluate over the remaining 10 weeks.