LSU kicks off the 2023 college football season this weekend, but ESPN analyst Mel Kiper is already turning his attention to the 2024 NFL draft.
The Tigers have a ton of talent on the roster, but a lot of the most impactful players like Harold Perkins and Will Campbell won’t be draft-eligible. Of those who will be eligible, receiver Malik Nabers has a good chance of being the first to hear their name called.
Nabers is coming off a breakout sophomore season, and he could be poised to take another leap as a junior. In Kiper’s initial 2024 big board, he has Nabers as the No. 17 overall prospect.
Nabers’ best trait? It’s speed. He can take the top off the defense. He was consistent last season, showing off elite separation skills and the ability to high-point receptions. He also was balanced, catching 35 passes when lined up in the slot and 37 when lined up out wide. That versatility will matter at the next level. Nabers has good hands and showed toughness in taking a shot while hauling in a catch over the middle of the field. I was impressed with his run-after-the-catch ability. Nabers could be more of a big-play threat for the Tigers in 2023.
Nabers ranks as the No. 3 receiver on Kiper’s board. Maason Smith, who is not included among the top 25 prospects, ranks as the No. 4 defensive tackle.
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