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Rival assistant coach compares Giants rookie Malik Nabers to Odell Beckham Jr.: ‘He’s got that type of talent’

In the lead-up to the 2024 NFL Draft, rumors swirled seemingly daily that the New York Giants were trying to move up the board for a quarterback. Of course, that didn’t happen. None of the top three teams moved down and out of a spot to select one of the top QBs, and New York instead stuck at No. 6 and picked LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers.

Widely considered one of the top two or three pass-catchers in the class, Nabers has game-breaking ability with the ball in his hands. Among the 108 receivers in the country who had at least 50 catches last season, Nabers’ 40 explosive receptions (16 or more yards) ranked second, while his 9.7% explosive-play rate ranked first.

He’s so explosive that he reminds at least one non-Giants assistant coach of another LSU star who played for the Giants: Odell Beckham Jr

“Nabers is the most explosive, but a little bit more raw. Harrison and Odunze are polished, but they’re not like Odell and can catch a slant and run for 80 (yards),” the assistant said, via The Athletic. “Nabers could be like Odell early. Throw him a hitch or a slant and he’s gone. He’s got that type of talent.”

An executive from another team echoed that sentiment, and also pointed out the same similarity in the two LSU stars’ games.

“Malik has to continue to develop,” the executive said. “There’s this raw, animalistic high-level talent, which is cool, especially the run after the catch — the ability to catch a slant, break a tackle or split the two (defenders), and score a touchdown.”

Beckham missed the first few games of his rookie season, but he nonetheless ended up compiling a ridiculous 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 scores, leading the league with 108.8 receiving yards per game and taking home NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. He had two more incredible years with the Giants, picking up at least 95 catches, 1,350 yards and 10 touchdowns in each of them. And his ability to take a short pass and zoom past everyone on his way to the end zone was indeed a trademark. Injuries have since sapped him of that explosiveness, and he’s more of a role player these days, but at his peak, there were few receivers in the league more dangerous.

If Nabers can come anywhere close to reaching that level, the Giants will be very happy.

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Author: Jared Dubin
June 7, 2024 | 2:45 pm

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