Devy Digest: Malik Nabers
Pos: Wide Receiver
Draft Eligible: 2024
Who is Malik Nabers?
Nabers was a 4* in the composites and attended Ovey Comeaux High before transferring to Southside High for his Senior season where he was unable to play football due to his waiver request being denied. During his time in High School, Nabers was a three sport athlete who also played Basketball, and Track And Field. Due to missing his Senior season in High School, Nabers came to LSU rusty and needing to play catch up, and it showed. He had a sluggish Freshman season with concentration drops. Nabers was used primarily out of the slot and poor quarterback play, didn't help him out. As a Sophomore, Nabers earned a starting spot opposite of the incumbent alpha, Kayshon Boutte. What we saw under first year coach Brian Kelly was Nabers overtaking the wide receiver room and blossomed in front of our eyes playing outside and not just in the slot. Jayden Daniels had an up and down year and his accuracy was not very good but Nabers was able to command targets and produced as a top tier wide receiver. Nabers capped off the 2022 season in the SEC championship game against Georgia where he exposed a truly elite defensive, going 5/128/1 and then topped that in the Citrus Bowl going 9/103/1 and being named the Citrus Bowl MVP.
Advance Metrics courtesy of Campus 2 Canton
I project Nabers to take a big step forward this year, and why he is my wide receiver 2 for the 2024 class.
Nabers returns as the clear alpha in the room and the rapport with Jayden Daniels should improve. We saw in the spring game, the very first play Daniels connected with Nabers for a touchdown in a goal to go situation. Nabers commanded a 24% target share last year when Kayshon Boutte was supposed to be the go to guy, this year Nabers doesn't have any real competition in the room. While LSU has a very talented wide receiving group, it's unproven and young. Kyren Lacy and Brian Thomas appear to be the guys opposite Nabers in a 3 wide set and Aaron Anderson is an Alabama transfer whom was a highly recruited receiver our of Louisiana and is a redshirt Freshman. LSU has a trio of true Freshman receivers that come in with hype, Shelton Sampson Jr, Jalen Brown, and Kyle Parker. It's a deep receiving room but one that lacks a target getter that would hinder Nabers. Lacy had a good spring but is a different type of player than Nabers is and should only compliment Nabers to prevent the secondary from shading coverage his way. A 30+% target share is within the range of outcomes and the volume that we could see, will only boost Nabers.
Nabers has a great release package to avoid getting jammed at the line of scrimmage. Nabers is a tough, physical wide receiver and is an excellent route runner that uses his footwork as well as his physicality to win. Nabers tracks the ball very well and has strong hands to bring down 50/50 jump balls. Nabers has a great feel for the game and has great body control and uses his frame to show his quarterback a clean target to throw at. Because of the combination of physicality and refined route running, Nabers can be used out wide or in the slot as he can beat press coverage and zone.
I'd like to see Nabers be used more as a red zone target, he only had 3 touchdowns last year. Nabers has adequate size and has the toughness and ball tracking that you want in a receiver in the red zone. Quarterback play is another concern. Jayden Daniels didn't help Nabers at all and we can only hope another year together, they can build better rapport and Daniels can get the ball to Nabers with better accuracy.
Nabers is my wide receiver 2 of the 2024 draft class and he is a buy. The 24 draft tier is Marvin Harrison Jr, slight drop to Nabers and Egbuka, then a big drop off to the wide receiver 4-8. I'm buying Nabers all day.
Day 1 draft capital, with a floor of day 2. Nabers is my wide receiver 2 for the 2024 class. While I understand why most have Egbuka as their WR2, to me Nabers is the guy I want. What I like the most about Nabers is he is someone who can fit any scheme and fit at the next level. I see a combination of Jarvis Landry and Cooper Kupp, just hard nosed football players that know how to win against their coverage and make plays.
Fantasy football was always a hobby, rooting for the Michigan Wolverines was always a passion. It was only a matter of time when the world’s collided. Then came devy, what started as watching film to being a better fan, I became obsessed with finding the next NFL fantasy stud while in college. Devy is a passion and I’m excited to talk about potential stars you may not know about today, and why you should know their name for tomorrow.