Malik Nabers Scouting Report
By Charlie Campbell
- Explosive playmaker
- Can run away from defensive backs
- Second-gear explosion
- Quick feet
- Easy speed
- Superb route-runner
- Twitchy in and out of breaks
- Consistent to generate separation
- Can get open quickly
- Good hands
- Late hands
- Tracks the ball well
- High points naturally
- Body control
- Can challenge defenses vertically
- Fast; can burn cornerbacks over the top
- Good recognition, feel
- Dangerous runner after the catch
- Threat to score and rip off long gains on any touch
- First-step quickness
- Deep-threat receiver
- Killer mentality; lethal player who can dominate defenses
- Very athletic
- Put together well
- Experienced; ready to contribute quickly
- Excelled against elite competition
- Potential to be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL
- Less than ideal height
There were big expectations for Kayshon Boutte to have a huge 2022 season for LSU, but Boutte struggled and Nabers established himself as the top receiver for Jayden Daniels. Nabers recorded 72 receptions in 2022 for 1,017 yards and three touchdowns. It was a big jump in production from 2021 when he caught 28 passes for 417 yards and four scores.
Nabers was even better in 2023, dominating the competition while totaling 89 receptions for 1,569 yards and 14 touchdowns. Daniels would not have won the Heisman Trophy if Nabers had not been prolific with his ability to get open and make huge plays downfield. Nabers made many clutch plays while averaging 17.6 yards per catch, and the attention that Nabers commanded helped teammate Brian Thomas Jr. enjoy a breakout season.
The trait that stands out the most and sets Nabers apart is speed. He is fast to stretch defenses downfield, and he has a serious burst after the catch. Quick feet lead to Nabers being a fluid route-runner who maintains speed through his route and leads to him having explosion out of his breaks. Nabers is smooth through the route, but he really accelerates well after the catch to produce more yardage.
After the bringing in the reception, Nabers is dangerous because he has a real burst in the open field. He shows serious explosion with a second gear to dart through the secondary. He is very elusive in the open field, showing phenomenal feet to dodge tacklers, stop/start, and cut through the defensive backfield. Nabers’ yards-after-the-catch skills alongside his speed make him very dangerous to turn a short reception into a chunk gain.
While Nabers is a fast receiver, he is put together well, and that can be seen in him showing natural ability to get position over defensive backs. Nabers high points the ball well and can makes difficult catches while covered showing quality hands to snatch the ball when defenders are close. Nabers displays very good body control, tracks the ball, is skilled at high-pointing the ball, has late hands, and has concentration while not being shy about incoming hits.
Nabers’ speed and athleticism allow him to consistently generate separation from defensive backs because he is very difficult to run with. Beyond being a vertical threat, Wilson should be a good third-down weapon in the NFL thanks to his ability to get open quickly on short to intermediate routes.
In the NFL, Nabers could fit well as a X – split end – receiver who works along the sideline and challenges teams vertically. While he is outstanding on the outside, Nabers also is a fit to work out of the slot. As a pro, Nabers could be a No.1 receiver for his offense. He is worthy of being a top-10 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Garrett Wilson. Nabers’ overall style of play, with his speed, route-running, and yards-after-the-catch skills is reminiscent of Wilson. They also are almost identical in size, except Nabers looks stronger. Wilson went in the top 10 of the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and I could see Nabers going in the top 10 of the 2024 NFL Draft.