LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels just won the Heisman Trophy, but it’s hard to believe he’d have the same level of success if he didn’t have Malik Nabers to throw to.
That’s not a knock on Daniels, who has done more to boost his draft stock than any quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft class. Rather, it’s a compliment to Nabers, who has 186 receptions, 2,980 yards and 21 touchdowns in his three seasons with the Tigers. An uber-productive receiver with playmaking ability, the true junior earned consensus All-American status for his play in 2023.
What exactly does Nabers do well, though? How far off is the drop-off from Marvin Harrison Jr. to him, and how strong is his case for the WR2 in this class? Let’s explore this by breaking down one of the top wide receivers in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Games watched: @ Alabama, 2022; @ Mississippi State, 2023; vs. Florida, 2023; @ Alabama, 2023; vs. Arkansas, 2023
- Has two 1,000-yard seasons in three seasons in college and improved each year
- Elite athlete with great vertical athleticism
- Hits top speed quickly, both off the line of scrimmage and after the catch
- Can win in the slot or outside
- Coordinated athlete with very good body control when he’s attacking the ball in the air
- Showed improved route-running technique in 2023
- Did better at attacking leverage points through his stems
- Has the raw athleticism needed to create separation out of his breaks
- Tracks the ball well in the air
- Offers great agility and creative ball-carrier vision after the catch
- Physicality at the catch point is just okay
- Can get shut down by press coverage if the cornerback is bigger than he is or a better technician near the line of scrimmage
- Toolbox as a route runner is still a work in progress
- Route salesmanship through his stems could still use some work
Nabers is an athletic playmaking wide receivers in a time where that type of player comes in very high demand.
He looks like a legitimate 4.3 threat on tape, and his production in arguably the toughest conference in college football speaks volumes. He’s a dynamic receiver you can line up inside or outside, and his sheer athleticism has combined well with consistently improving technique as a route runner. Nabers is a first-round talent with a legitimate argument to be a top-10 pick and the second wide receiver selected in the 2024 draft.
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