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2024 Rookie Profile: Malik Nabers

Malik Nabers is arguably the second-best receiver in his class. Can his talent compete with the best receiver in the class? Coach Steve dives into Malik Nabers' talent.

Profile Overview

  • College: LSU
  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 200 lbs
  • Age: 20
  • Year: Junior
  • Draft Projection: 1st Round

College Career

Malik Nabers went to Southside High School, where he was the 19th rank receiver in his recruiting class. He was a three-sport athlete with football, basketball, and track. Nabers would have a mini breakout season in 2022 with the arrival of Jayden Daniels. Nabers became his favorite target over the last two seasons. He exploded into the dominant receiver he is during the 2023 season. His YPR jumped from 14.1 to 17.6. He doubled his career touchdowns in 2023 than in the previous two seasons.

Nabers made plenty of honors during his time in college. He was a finalist for the Fred Belitnikoff Award and was first-team All-SEC in 2023. Even before his breakout, he impressed as a freshman. He made the All-SEC freshman team. Nabers had better seasons than former elite LSU receivers like Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry. Nabers is leaving LSU with the most receiving yards in college history.

YearSchoolClassGames RecYdsAvgTDAttYdsAvgTD



One of Nabers’ greatest strengths is his burst/explosiveness off the line of scrimmage. He can explode off the line, going 0 to 60 in seconds. Nabers uses that quick burst to separate from defenders easily. In the short area, Nabers is unmatched and challenging to cover among a defense since he can create that separation. He will be an issue for defense on go routes, posts, and when he is in the slot for fades.

You even notice the burst he offers once he gets the ball. Nabers’ burst will translate well at the NFL level. A team will fall in love with his ability to get open quickly and allow him to do things with the ball. A common saying is that you can’t teach speed, and Nabers has a ton that has been eye-opening on film.

Route Running

Another strength of Nabers is that he is also a terrific route runner. He is explosive in running routes and can easily switch gears to get past defenders for big plays. On film, he has shown the ability to run any route and quickly burst out of his break.

While his burst makes him great for downfield routes, his route running makes him consistently dominant with shorter routes like curls and digs. He is a bright player who knows how to attack a defender in his routes. He understands what he needs to do in his routes to get open for his quarterback.

Speed is one thing for a receiver, but using that strength of route running can make you an elite receiver. We’ve seen many receivers try to rely on only their speed, and it doesn’t translate to starting offensive spots. The combination of the two will help Nabers be a successful NFL receiver in the future.


Once Nabers gets the ball in his hands, he is dangerous for a defender. The video below shows that Nabers can quickly turn small plays into big plays. In 2023, Nabers had over 500 yards after the catch. That was more than other top players like Marvin Harrison Jr and Rome Odunze. Nabers showed the ability to make defenses miss as well to create more yards after catch. He had 30 forced missed tackles in 2023.

Nabers also showed speed and strength after the catch, with 312 yards after contact. That was also double what Marvin Harrison Jr. did in 2023. Being an elite YAC receiver, Nabers will often help NFL teams move the ball downfield. Dynasty Owners will also love Nabers’ ability to gain those extra fantasy points.

Areas Of Concern

Some areas Nabers needs to improve are the following: long speed, his release off the LOS, outside route tree, and catching in traffic. While he has the speed to his game, he has struggled to create enough separation from speedy defensive backs on the outside. Nabers’ release off the LOS can, at times, be wasted. I’ve seen him try to do too much on film and waste time just getting downfield.

Nabers tries to beat his man on the line rather than let his route develop and beat them with speed and route running. Nabers is terrific with his inside routes, but he needs to tune up his route tree if he plays more of the x or y receiver role at the NFL level. He has also shown weakness in traffic or catching the ball in the air with more physical defenders. He can do it, but he has shown inconsistency in college.

Projected Draft Capital

For Nabers, the distance between him and Marvin Harrison Jr. isn’t as far as folks may think. While I still believe Harrison is the confirmed WR1 in this class, Nabers is a strong second option that should be considered a bargain rather than a consolation prize to Harrison. He is projected to go in round one of the 2024 NFL draft.

Nabers has consistently been a top-ten pick in many mock drafts. I’ve seen teams like the Bears, Cardinals, Chargers, and Giants all select him in mocks. You could also see the Titans and the Falcons potentially draft him. The Giants would be a logical spot for Nabers because they need a receiver, but Nabers may not be the best fit. The Chargers would be his dream spot to pair up with Justin Herbert. If the Bears trade out of the 1.01, then getting Nabers at 1.09 would likely be a must to pair him with DJ Moore. I wouldn’t be too excited for the Falcons, the Titans, or the Giants. The Cardinals would be a decent spot since they need a WR1, but Harrison would likely go there if the quarterbacks go early.

Nabers could play as both an inside and outside receiver. I could see him being used more as a slot receiver, but it would likely be a need and scheme fit for him where he lines up. No matter which team he goes to, he will be a first-round pick in rookie drafts.

Dynasty Value

Nabers will likely be a top-seven pick in rookie drafts and could go as high as the 1.04 if he lands in a great spot. The Chargers, Cardinals, and Bears (if they go with Caleb) would be a great landing spot for Nabers as a trusted high-end rookie pick. If he lands with the Giants, Titans, or Falcons, I would not like him as much due to his quarterback situation. The Bears are the ideal landing spot, the Chargers are the favorite spot, and the Titans would be the dark horse team. If he lands in a great spot, Nabers could immediately contribute to fantasy. If he lands with the not-so-great teams, he may be capped until the team can figure out their offense, especially at quarterback.

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