In a move that should surprise no one, Malik Nabers is foregoing his senior season with LSU football and entering the 2024 NFL Draft.
Nabers announced such in a graphic posted that circulated several social media accounts. He thanked his family, friends, teammates, and coaches in his announcement. Nabers especially thanked LSU football receivers coach Cortez Hankton.
"To Coach Hankton, where do I even start, our relationship has grown tremendously over these 2 years. You’ve always been that person I come talk to when I’m going through something and you always give me the best advice. I couldn’t ask for a better coach, role model or idol to help me through this journey!"- Malik Nabers
Nabers's praise of Hankton strengthens the case for LSU football, keeping the wide receiver coach around for the long term. The former NFL receiver-turned-coach served as interim co-offensive coordinator for the ReliaQuest Bowl. He was recently floated as a candidate to fill Nick Saban’s wide receivers coach vacancy at Alabama.
Suffice it to say, LSU fans prefer Hankton remain in Baton Rouge and receive a promotion to permanent co-offensive coordinator with quarterbacks coach Joe Sloan.
Malik Nabers departs the LSU Tigers as the program’s all-time receiving yards leader at 3,004 yards. He is also, only the second player in program history with back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
Such are incredible accomplishments, considering the fantastic players that have played the position in Baton Rouge. Indeed, he exceeded expectations and forged an on-field chemistry with Jayden Daniels that was the nucleus of the LSU’s offense.
Despite his Bednarik Trophy snub, Nabers was the best receiver in college football and now enters the 2024 NFL Draft class with top-10 pick potential.
I expect Marvin Harrison Jr. to be the first receiver selected in the draft, as does practically every draft pundit. However, Nabers will arguably end up in a better situation if drafted outside the top three. Most projections have Harrison ending up with the Chicago Bears or the Arizona Cardinals.
Nabers could go as early as pick five to the New York Giants. Granted, much will change with the draft landscape between now and April, including the draft orders following the NFL’s Week 18.
Nevertheless, I think Nabers has the potential to emerge as the best professional receiver in his class. I like his durability more, and I think he offers more in terms of possession and deep-play ability.