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Giants land LSU WR Malik Nabers in post free agency mock draft

With the initial free agency wave behind us, NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah had the New York Giants selecting LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers with the sixth overall pick in a recent mock draft.

Jeremiah wrote that he could see the Giants using that pick on a quarterback, but with Minnesota trading up to pick four to select Michigan’s JJ McCarthy, the top four quarterbacks in this year’s draft were already off the board by the time the Giants were on the clock.

Top receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. went to the Jets at pick five after they traded up, leaving the Giants with either Nabers or Washington’s Rome Odunze at receiver. Offensive tackle Joe Alt was also on the board as well.

Nabers was an integral part of the LSU offense over the last two seasons, lining up both out wide and in the slot. In 2022, he would eclipse the 1,000 yard mark, catching 72 of his 100 targets and scoring three touchdowns.

Then this past season, Nabers would put together a monster year. He was targeted 128 times, catching 70 percent of those throws and totaling almost 1,600 receiving yards at a whopping 17.6 yards per catch with 14 scores.

Nabers finished the season ranked second nationally in yards, along with being tied for third in touchdowns, ninth in yards after the catch (YAC), and third in yards per route run—an efficiency metric for pass catchers.

Nabers is ranked as the fourth overall prospect on Jeremiah’s most recent big board and the third receiver, behind Harrison Jr. and Odunze.

For a closer look at Nabers and what he could bring to the Giants, here is what Jeremiah wrote in his pre-draft scouting report:

“Nabers is a dynamic receiver with outstanding competitiveness and production,” wrote Jeremiah. “He explodes off the line in his release, creating immediate separation. He sets up defenders before snapping off his route. He isn’t afraid to work in the middle of the field and has strong hands to finish through contact. When working back to the quarterback, he prefers to let the ball travel into his body, but his drops are limited.

“He can scoop low throws off his shoes and easily adjusts to balls on his back hip. He does a lot of damage on slot fades, where he uses his speed to win early, and he tracks the ball with ease. After the catch, he explodes through tackles and also has a nasty stiff arm. Overall, Nabers is an electric playmaker who reminds me of DJ Moore with the ball in his hands.”

The Giants have potential at the receiver position with Darius Slayton, Wan’Dale Robinson, and Jalin Hyatt. Slayton would average 15.4 yards per catch in 2023 and total 769 yards with four scores.

Robinson finished the season strong after up and down play throughout the year. He would catch 11 passes for 140 yards in the Giants’ final two games. Hyatt, meanwhile, provides a vertical presence but totaled just 373 yards with no touchdowns in his rookie season.

What the Giants need at this position group is that No. 1, go-to target for Daniel Jones, or whoever the quarterback ends up being. With this type of presence in an offense, that player not only can create opportunities for himself, but with the attention he draws and spacing he forces defense to create, this receiver can generate opportunities for others as well.

Nabers certainly has the potential to bring that ability to the offense right away, as he’s able to win in a variety of ways and in different parts of the field.

With where the strengths of this year’s draft class lies, the Giants will have the opportunity to address a few different needs with their sixth pick, whether that be at receiver, bolstering the competition and depth along the offensive line, or potentially even quarterback if there is a prospect they are fond of.

Story originally appeared on Giants Wire