2024 Atlanta Falcons Potential Draft Pick Profile: WR Malik Nabers

If Malik Nabers falls to 8, the Falcons should be sprinting to the podium.

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Texas A&M v LSU / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Falcons brought in some fantastic wide receivers already, but if Malik Nabers falls to No. 8 overall, he should be the pick. Nabers could truly be a guy who blows the top off of defenses and helps the Falcons take the next step on offense. The Falcons would be able to get Drake London, Kyle Pitts and Bijan Robinson the ball in more open underneath lanes. Atlanta drafting another offensive skill player in the top 10 would have people in the fan base revolting, though.

Malik Nabers

Louisiana State University

Wide Receiver


Athletic Comparison and Numbers

Athletically, Malik Nabers is a carbon copy of Mike Wallace. Nabers is someone who can demolish a defense with his straight line speed, but his agility is apparent in and out of cuts. His vertical will allow him to have fun high-pointing the ball and making contested catches as well. His athleticism is fantastic and makes him arguably the top wide receiver in the draft in that aspect. The new scheme by offensive coordinator Zac Robinson would take advantage of this easily.


Stats and Awards

2023: 13 Games Played, 89 Catches, 1,569 Yards, 14 Touchdowns, 1 Carry, 1 Yard, First-Team All-SEC, First-Team All-American, Biletnikoff Finalist
2022: 14 Games Played, 72 Catches, 1,017 Yards, 3 Touchdowns, 1 Carry, 5 Yards, 2-of-2 (100.0 percent), 50 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 0 Interceptions, 2 Punt Returns, -2 Yards, 2 Kick Returns, 31 Yards, Citrus Bowl MVP
2021: 11 Games Played, 28 Catches, 417 Yards, 4 Touchdowns, 4 Carries, 23 Yards, 2 Tackles, Freshman All-SEC


Highlight Reel


Scouting Report

Strengths

Malik Nabers is one of the most polished prospects in almost every way. He's able to fight off press coverages with good hand usage and understands how to box out defenders like a basketball player would. He excels at body positioning for things like contested catches and finding lanes for yards after catch before he even catches the ball. He's a burner and can take the top off of a defense, but is able to attack the short and intermediate areas just as efficiently.

His speed is so dangerous, that he's dominant on curls and comebacks because of how much a defender backs up. And if they cheat up on a curl or a comeback, he can run double moves to destroy their confidence. Nabers is a hand catcher as opposed to a body catcher and high-points the ball with his ridiculous jumping abilities. He also does a great job of acccelerating or decelerating through a route to throw a defender off and create separation.

Weaknesses

Nabers has a ton of great parts of his game, but he needs to work on his route tree a bit more and actual route running. His technique in general could use some improvement in and out of breaks. His release leaves a lot of be desired and could vastly be improved. At times, he has trouble getting past the second level of coverage because he's getting caught up in press release. He would benefit greatly from a route running specialist as his wide receivers coach.


Intangibles & Off-Field Red Flags

Malik Nabers has fantastic leadership for his unit. He was a game captain multiple times for the Tigers and showed that he could motivate his fellow players on offense. He works hard every snap and even is willing as a blocker downfield or running as decoy on plays when he knows he's not likely to be the primary option. Nabers did have an incident where he was arrested for an alleged weapons violation, but he never faced charges (h/t NOLA.com's Wilson Alexander).

NFL Stylistic Comparison: JaMarr Chase

Much like JaMarr Chase coming out of college, Nabers is at his best when he's stressing defenses with a deep ball. Additionally, similar to Chase, he's dangerous with the ball in his hands and can take the ball to the end zone from anywhere on the field. Nabers has shown that he could be the true field stretcher the Falcons were missing in 2022 and 2023. Having him in the mix would be like the Bengals bringing in Chase after the 2020 season to enhance their own weapons.


How does he fit in with the Atlanta Falcons

If the Falcons want to draft Malik Nabers, they will likely have to hope he falls to them at No. 8 overall or trade up from there. It's very unlikely that he would fall. His fit in the offense is much easier to see. Nabers would instantly be a No. 1 wide receiver in the offense and see the majority of the targets over Drake London. He's objectively a better prospect and combining him, London and Kyle Pitts would bring the Falcons back to an offense like what they had in 2012, but with a better run game.

All advanced stats are courtesy Pro Football Focus or Football Outsiders. All traditional stats are courtesy of official team websites, NFLGSIS or CFB Stats. All RAS and athletic testing numbers are courtesy of DraftScout.com and Kent Lee Platte's RAS Football website.