New York Giants add explosive receiving threat, taking Malik Nabers of LSU at No. 6 in NFL draft

Nabers gives the Giants a physical receiver with elite ball skills and route-running ability. He caught 89 passes for 1,569 yards and 14 TDs last season with the Tigers of the Southeastern Conference.

Associated Press

Apr 26, 2024, 8:58 AM

Updated 24 days ago

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Hoping to find an explosive wide receiver to open up their offense in the way Odell Beckham Jr. of LSU did a decade ago, the New York Giants went back to Cajun country and selected Malik Nabers with the No. 6 pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night.
Nabers gives the Giants a physical receiver with elite ball skills and route-running ability. He caught 89 passes for 1,569 yards and 14 TDs last season with the Tigers of the Southeastern Conference.
“Not coming into, you know, trying to replace Odell,” Nabers said of the Giants' first-round pick in 2014. "I’m just trying to lead into my own legacy.”
Nabers will have to step up to match Beckham, who was the last Giants receiver to gain 1,000 yards (2018). From 2014-16, Beckham caught at least 90 passes for 1,300 yards each season and combined for 35 touchdowns.
When it came time for the Giants to pick, they had a choice of two highly regarded receivers: Nabers and Rome Odunze of Washington.
General manager Joe Schoen said little separated the two but what he liked most about the 6-foot Nabers were his competitiveness and toughness. The 20-year-old played last season with a shoulder injury and never slowed down.
“He’s a heck of a player,” coach Brian Daboll said. "Like Joe talked about, that quickness, explosiveness right after the catch and great mindset in terms of the competitive style of play. He also played well in big games.”
Nabers met with Giants officials before the draft along with Marvin Harrison Jr. of Ohio State and Odunze on the same day. He said he was competitive that day, too. He even recalled the portly Daboll making him laugh by saying he could cover him one on one.
“I’m able to play different positions,” Nabers said. “You know, create separation, open up a great window for a quarterback to throw me the ball. Great teammate, great leader, an all-around great football player with a dog mentality when I’m out there on the field.”
With quarterback Daniel Jones coming off ACL surgery and his status for the start of the season uncertain, some felt the Giants might trade up to pick among a pool of talented quarterbacks. It didn’t happen after Chicago, Washington and New England took quarterbacks with the first three picks.
Schoen said the Giants had conversations about either moving up or down on Thursday and decided they were comfortable staying put. He added that after picking Nabers, he texted the receiver's phone number to Jones.
The soon-to-be 27-year-old Jones has led New York to one playoff berth (2022) since taking over as the starter early in his rookie season in 2019, when he was the No. 6 pick overall.
The offensively inept Giants went 6-11 last season and missed the playoffs after making the postseason in 2022. Nabers joins a receiving corps that features Darius Slayton, Wan’Dale Robinson, Jalin Hyatt and Isaiah Hodgins.
The Giants have five picks over the final two days of the draft and they need help at cornerback, running back, safety, defensive tackle, and maybe a young quarterback to join a room that includes Jones, veteran Drew Lock and hometown hero Tommy DeVito.


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