After torching the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Week 3, where does LSU Tigers WR Malik Nabers stand in the 2024 NFL Draft pecking order? What did Nabers’ Week 3 showing tell us about his game, and where does he go from here?
Malik Nabers Reaffirms 2024 NFL Draft Stock in Week 3
Mississippi State’s secondary has produced its fair share of NFL-worthy defensive backs over the years. Just last year, in the 2023 NFL Draft cycle, cornerback Emmanuel Forbes went in Round 1 to the Washington Commanders.
But on Saturday, the Bulldogs’ secondary was no match for Nabers, as the LSU wide receiver works to confirm his standing as a Round 1 prospect.
Nabers had the best game of his collegiate career — and by a safe margin — against the Bulldogs. He caught 13 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns from senior QB Jayden Daniels, dominating Mississippi State defenders through three quarters before he was eventually taken out in a merciful gesture.
Nabers accounted for around two-thirds of the Tigers’ entire passing output in Week 3, and in one fell swoop, he more than doubled his yardage total through the first two weeks of the 2023 campaign. But even more impressive than Nabers’ production was how he achieved that production.
Nabers’ Week 3 Shows Statement on the 2024 NFL Draft Stage
Across his 13 catches, Nabers did a little bit of everything. He has the separation chops and sturdy hands to move the chains and convert on intermediate comebacks, but his best work came when working vertically.
Both as a nine-route receiver from the boundary and on slot fades, he was able to use his effortless speed and throttle control to stack defenders. Of course, stacking defenders is half the battle.
However, Nabers has shown that perhaps better than anyone in the 2024 NFL Draft class, he can convert at the catch point in tight spots, too. His ball tracking and coordination were both immaculate on Saturday as he dusted Decamerion Richardson and other defenders for long gains.
Nabers’ run-after-catch ability has often been marketed as his best trait, but his Week 3 showing put his separation ability, route IQ, speed, and conversion prowess under the spotlight. We already knew Nabers was an electric three-level threat, but this game erased any and all doubt.
It was important for Nabers to have a statement game, with close competition in the 2024 NFL Draft class, as was recently discussed on the PFN Scouting Podcast.
Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka are as good as advertised. And Keon Coleman dominated the Tigers himself in Week 1. Nabers didn’t yet have the dominant outing to hang his hat on as a 2024 NFL Draft prospect — but now he does.
Where Does Nabers Rank in the 2024 NFL Draft Now?
It’s important not to be too elastic with changes in rankings from week to week on the NFL Draft circuit. Nabers isn’t going to magically be anointed WR1 after this. Harrison had that honor entering the season, and it’ll be almost impossible for anyone to unseat him with his complete profile.
Nevertheless, Nabers has commonly been viewed as one of several WR prospects in the first-round tier. He’s a definite top-five WR prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft, along with Egbuka and Coleman, and he might now have more security than prospects like Rome Odunze and Xavier Worthy in that range.
Of course, there are more tests on the horizon for Nabers. Remaining SEC opponents like Arkansas, Ole Miss, Missouri, Auburn, Alabama, Florida, and Texas A&M all have NFL talent in the secondary. But Nabers has proven himself to be a very formidable foe.
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