Malik Nabers’ Draft Profile | LSU, WR Scouting Report

A three-level powder keg with unnatural explosiveness, LSU WR Malik Nabers has the 2024 NFL Draft scouting report to tear up the NFL.

He might not have a chance to be the consensus WR1, but LSU’s Malik Nabers is a very good consolation prize for teams seeking WR help in the top ten of the 2024 NFL Draft. What does Nabers’ scouting report say about his projection at the NFL level?

Malik Nabers Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 200
  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • School: LSU
  • Current Year: Junior

Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase are the headliners, but LSU has been a wide receiver factory for a long time — even before those two. The track record speaks for itself, and in the 2024 NFL Draft, Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. are next up.

Nabers’ ascent in the 2024 NFL Draft came with some anticipation. He was a four-star recruit in the 2021 class with a documented 4.44 40-yard dash and a 38″ vertical.

That kind of natural athleticism is even more impressive when it comes ahead of a college training program, and Nabers delivered on the numbers with his play.

Nabers immediately left his mark as a freshman at LSU, recording 28 catches for 417 yards and four touchdowns as a true freshman. He played in 11 games and ended up starting for over half the season.

He emerged as the definitive WR1 for the Tigers in 2022. His 1,017 yards marked the 10th time in school history a WR eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark, and his battle with Alabama CB Kool-Aid McKinstry was one of the best individual matchups of the season.

Nabers’ 2022 season was the ramp-up, but in 2023, fueled by the Heisman-caliber rise of QB Jayden Daniels, Nabers broke history in Baton Rouge.

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In 2023, alongside Thomas, Nabers caught 89 passes for 1,569 yards and 14 touchdowns, placing as a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award. He broke LSU’s all-time career receiving yardage record, and his single-season figure placed third in program history behind Chase and Josh Reed.

Producing is half the battle, but producing at a verified WR factory like LSU is a different feat on its own. Nabers did that, and now, he’s one of the most exhilarating prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Nabers’ Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Sports a compact long-strider frame with good mass and proportional length.
  • Sentient powder keg with supercharged explosiveness, suddenness, and lateral twitch.
  • Uses his twitch and foot speed to offset DBs with foot fire, split, and diamond releases.
  • Transition between micro-movements and instant explosion creates DB instability.
  • Nuanced vertical threat with thrashing speed, throttle control, and stem intelligence.
  • Shows glimpses of inhuman decelerative and retractive sink capacity on comebacks.
  • Has the zone awareness and flexibility to bend around DBs and exploit blind spots.
  • Has stellar body control in tight situations and can use late hands to control leverage.
  • Can snare passes away from his frame with diamond technique and reset for RAC.
  • Has the hand strength and authoritative grip to secure passes even through contact.
  • Has exceptional contact balance and an unnaturally strong center of gravity for his size.
  • Sifts through congestion like a sieve with explosive agility, oily hips, and leg churn.
  • Plays with zealous physicality both as a RAC threat and as a combatant at route stems.
  • Has great scramble IQ, creating second-wave separation and working back to the ball.
  • Active, combative run blocker with great leverage IQ, urgency, and adaptability.

Weaknesses

  • Isn’t an elite-size threat and may measure closer to WR averages.
  • Can be more efficient with his use of space and improve his synergy against press.
  • At times, can be better at halting momentum when sinking and swiveling on curls.
  • Plant-and-drive technique can be more efficient at times, with fewer wasted steps.
  • Doesn’t always have elite stopping capacity and hinge freedom on comeback routes.
  • Still has room to keep refining his route tree past primarily vertical concepts.
  • Sometimes widens his hands too far on low attempts, letting passes into his frame.
  • Can be more consistent in attacking and proactively positioning himself on 50-50 balls.
  • Hand-eye coordination and hand spacing can be inconsistent in contested situations.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Malik Nabers grades out as a top-10 and blue-chip prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. He’s my WR2 behind Marvin Harrison Jr., and in most other WR classes, the 20-year-old would be a viable WR1 candidate.

More than most of the 2024 NFL Draft’s WR prospects, Nabers effusively fulfills all the requirements of the three-level threat framework at WR: creating before, at, and after the catch. With his athleticism and physicality, he brings shades of Sterling Sharpe, and he has that kind of ultimate potential.

Before the catch is where Nabers has the most room to grow. He’s still learning how to efficiently combat press, and his plant and drive and sinking technique can improve as a route runner, mainly on routes that break back toward the ball.

Nevertheless, Nabers is a dynamic three-level weapon with near-unmatched upside. He has the stem IQ, speed, throttle control, stride freedom, and bend to separate on the vertical and horizontal planes. And at the catch point, he’s a smooth contortionist with body control, patience, and reliable hands.

Nabers’ most exciting moments, however, come as a run-after-catch threat. With his gliding explosiveness, agility and twitch, physicality, vision, and contact balance, he’s a weapon with the ball in his hands who can both create and elongate space, as well as navigate through congestion.

Considering his imperfect profile against the press and as a route runner, Nabers likely translates best as a versatile movement-Z early in his career. But within that role, he can thrash defenses on vertical routes and digs, make clutch catches, and he can also be schemed touches with his high-level RAC ability.

KEEP READING: Top WRs in the 2024 NFL Draft

Nabers can be a dynamic offensive weapon on Day 1 of his NFL career, and in time, he has a perennial impact starter upside, with the three-level ability to be a focal point.

Draft with your friends today! PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator now supports multiple drafters during the same draft! Ensure your player rankings are up to date on the 2024 NFL Draft Big Board and you know what every NFL team needs before drafting.

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