With only one receiver on their roster gaining more than 500 yards last season, the San Francisco 49ers will likely target a pass-catcher in the NFL Draft, and possibly in free agency as well. Where they select a WR is still up for debate, but John Lynch and co. reportedly have their eye on a later-round prospect out of Oklahoma State. The 49ers are ‘high’ on Marcell Ateman according to NFL Draft analyst Tony Pauline.
Ateman has been working with former Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson on his speed and 40 starts in Dallas. Johnson has been praising Ateman’s work ethic to teams he’s spoken with. I’m told the receiver-needy San Francisco 49ers are one of several teams high on Ateman.
Ateman, listed at 6’4″ and 220 pounds played all four years at Oklahoma State, and is considered an ideal fit for a west coast offense. A big play and jump ball threat, Ateman would pair well with the speedy Goodwin and possession receiver Pierre Garcon. NFL.com lists Ateman as a fourth-fifth round prospect, though some believe he could slide into the second round with an impressive showing at the combine. Ateman, on the other hand, believes he’s a first-round prospect.
“I just know my game. I know who I am as a person and what I can bring to any team,” Ateman told KVTV News (h/t Bleacher Report). “I know, me personally, I’m a first-round pick. It don’t matter to me where I go. If I’m first [round]. If I’m third. If I’m fifth. If I’m undrafted. I’m going to perform whatever team I get to. That’s just my mentality, and that’s just who I am. So I can’t even look at how people judge me. But whenever I step on that field, my game is going to speak for itself.”