2024 NFL Draft Prospects: Malik Nabers’ scouting report


  • Malik Nabers is an explosive, dynamic playmaker with top WR potential at the NFL level.
  • Nabers may struggle against press coverage due to lack of size.
  • Nabers’ versatility and explosive play style should make him one of the top wideout options in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Already with plenty of high-profile players thriving at the professional level, LSU looks to add to its extensive list of wide receivers in the NFL with Malik Nabers.

With Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels throwing him passes, Nabers became one of the most productive receivers in college football and torched SEC cornerbacks on a weekly basis. The unanimous All-American now enters the 2024 NFL Draft as one of the top receivers and a surefire first-round selection.


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The strengths of Malik Nabers

Nabers is an explosive playmaker

Malik Nabers
Scott Clause/USA TODAY Network

Nabers is a twitchy athlete with exemplary speed and quickness. He has a tremendous first step accompanied by stellar acceleration. This makes Nabers a very sudden route runner, as he goes in and out of his breaks with little to no wasted movement.

He torched opposing defenses on vertical routes with his explosiveness, yet showed solid feel on his shorter routes. Nabers ran shallow with precision and took advantage of defensive backs’ blind spots.

Malik Nabers College Stats



Receiving Yards


















With the ball in his hands, Nabers is among the best in this class. He is a dynamic playmaker whose agility and field vision make it difficult for defenders to get good angles on him. This makes Nabers a weapon at all three levels; he can take the top off a defense on a go route, take a screen, or slant upfield for a big gain.

This left opposing teams with more questions than answers on how to stop Nabers, as LSU deployed him in various ways in terms of routes and run and pre-snap alignment. Though not his bread and butter, the Louisiana native is adequate in contested catch situations.

At 6-foot, 200 pounds, he’s not going to bully many defensive backs at the catch point, but he has the requisite ball tracking and body control to come down with some 50/50 balls.

Nabers does bring weaknesses into the 2024 NFL Draft

Nabers lacks prototypical receiver size

Malik Nabers
© Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Nabers isn’t the biggest receiver in the world, and it’s evident on some of his reps against press coverage. He had some trouble disengaging with lengthier corners and would essentially get taken out of the play. For Nabers to be a true X receiver in the NFL, he has to diversify his release package.

Though Nabers did a little bit of everything at LSU, he was predominantly used as a vertical threat. Getting open downfield at the rate he did in 2023 just isn’t sustainable at the next level. He’ll need to be comfortable running shorter routes, which will set up his double moves and downfield shots.

There’s nothing special about Nabers’ play strength. He’ll break some tackles but wins far more with elusiveness than physicality. Against bigger and stronger defensive backs, he’ll rely heavily on his separation ability. He isn’t the more sure-handed receiver and has some occasional drops. His drop rate in 2023 was no worse than Marvin Harrison Jr.’s, but it’s still worth noting.

Final thoughts

Nabers is set to go early in Round 1

Malik Nabers
© Scott Clause/USA TODAY Network

Let it be known that Nabers is no consolation prize; he has legitimate WR1 potential and, at worst, projects as a highly productive slot. His game is flashy and scintillating, but it’s also fairly polished. There are a lot of teams in need of weapons, and with Harrison likely going off the board inside the top five, Nabers has a good chance of hearing his name called before the 10th selection.

The Los Angeles Chargers, who currently own the No. 5 overall selection, have some talent at wide receiver, but they need to get younger and more explosive. Nabers doesn’t turn 21 until July and is oozing with big-play potential.

The Chicago Bears need another wideout to put opposite D.J. Moore. While there is some overlap between their games, they’re different enough to co-exist.

The New York Giants are still lacking in the wide receiver department and will need to upgrade regardless of who their quarterback is in 2024 and beyond. Nabers’ explosiveness could be enough to win New York’s front office over.

Pro comparison: Odell Beckham Jr.

All stats courtesy of Sports Reference unless stated otherwise.


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