Suddenly, Marvin Harrison Jr. no longer finds himself as a lock for the title of best wide receiver for the 2024 NFL Draft class. The Ohio State standout is starting to face new competition for the first receiver taken come April.
Draft Insider Reveals Some Scouts Like Malik Nabers More Than Marvin Harrison Jr.
On Monday, NFL draft analyst Matt Miller shared a rather revealing conversation he held with three different scout representatives involving the debate between Harrison and LSU star Malik Nabers.
As it turns out, not everyone has Harrison rated as the top wide receiver on their draft boards.
“The explosive Nabers shouldn’t be considered a mere consolation prize for whatever team misses out on Harrison. In fact, three NFL scouts I spoke to at the Senior Bowl told me they actually have Nabers ranked ahead of Harrison on their initial draft boards,” Miller shared in his insider report.
Miller projected Harrison to land at No. 4 overall to the Arizona Cardinals — one spot ahead of Nabers. Even so, Nabers has witnessed a strong climb to first-round status.
Nabers is now slotted as the No. 5 selection by the Los Angeles Chargers, which would give star quarterback Justin Herbert a new weapon and new head coach Jim Harbaugh a dynamic option to draw plays for. In recent months, Nabers has won over lots of draft experts, with some envisioning he’ll crack the top 10.
“Cut From Same Cloth” as Past LSU Greats
NFL teams have taken a liking to past LSU wideouts. After all, Ja’Marr Chase spearheaded an AFC title run with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2021, while Justin Jefferson emerged as an immediate standout with the Minnesota Vikings.
While Miller has spoken to people who are higher on Nabers than Harrison, PFN has the receivers in this order:
Harrison is at No. 1, but Nabers is a close second.
PFN’s Ian Cummings wrote how he believes Nabers closely resembles the more recent receivers to come out of Baton Rouge, La.
“It appears Malik Nabers is cut from the same cloth as his predecessors (Cincinnati Bengals WR) Ja’Marr Chase and (Minnesota Vikings WR) Justin Jefferson. The 6’0″, 200-pound Nabers was arguably the rightful Biletnikoff winner in 2023 over Harrison with 85 catches for 1,546 yards and 14 touchdowns,” Cummings began.
He added how Nabers’ immediate chemistry with Heisman Trophy-winner Jayden Daniels also turned him into a dangerous, and patient, wideout.
“Nabers was simply unstoppable in 2023. He’s particularly deadly on slot fades with his explosiveness, patience, and ball-tracking ability, but there are reps of him winning in many different ways,” Cummings said.
Lastly, Nabers was described as an “athletic powder keg” with smooth hands.
“His ability to win from the slot on vertical routes or as an all-around threat on the outside makes him a diverse, all-encompassing weapon for NFL evaluators projecting his potential,” Cummings said.
Now, NFL teams are projecting that he’s got more potential than the son of the Super Bowl-winning wide receiver. Regardless, both men are in a position to hear their names called before selection the first round is halfway through.