5 teams in the market for Malik Nabers after NFL free agency

  • Malik Nabers was Jayden Daniels' No. 1 receiving target during his LSU Heisman campaign.
  • As expected, both former Bayou Bengals are going to go inside the top 10 in the NFL Draft.
  • Here are five franchises who could be in the market to draft Nabers after NFL free agency.

Malik Nabers, LSU Tigers
Malik Nabers, LSU Tigers / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

After a stellar college football career, Malik Nabers will be taking his talents to the NFL. The unanimous All-American projects to be the second wide receiver to be selected in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft behind only Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr. Nabers was Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels' favorite target at LSU last season. Together, they are so going inside of the top 10.

Harrison may have the pedigree and the accolades, but don't sleep on Nabers. If you do, you will surely pay for it. Just think about how many great former LSU wide receivers are kicking tail, or have kicked tail, in the NFL in recent years. Expect for Nabers to be every bit as good as what Justin Jefferson has been for the Minnesota Vikings and Ja'Marr Chase has been for the Cincinnati Bengals.

So what I am going to do today is take a look at a handful of teams picking inside the top 10 that I think have either a great or a halfway decent shot of selecting Nabers. Some fits are more obvious than others, but no matter where he ends up, somebody's receiving corps will benefit greatly from the selection. Whether he is a team's new No. 1, or a high-end No. 2 as a rookie, Nabers will be ready.

Here are five NFL franchises I think could conceivably use their first-round pick on Nabers this spring.

5. Atlanta Falcons could get Kirk Cousins another weapon to work with

While the Atlanta Falcons could use the No. 8 overall pick on Malik Nabers out of LSU, there is a good chance he might already be off the board before they are on the clock. It feels like Nabers is more likely to go closer to top-five than he is to top-10. Regardless, I still think Atlanta could use one more weapon in the receiving corps for their new quarterback Kirk Cousins coming over from Minnesota.

Admittedly, adding Darnell Mooney in free agency from the Chicago Bears certainly complicates things, but why not go for broke if you are Atlanta? What have you ever won? Cousins isn't getting any younger, so your time to contend is in the present. A receiving corps of Nabers, Mooney, Drake London and Kyle Pitts at tight end could be a fireworks show in the Dirty South. It will be electrifying!

Overall, I tend to believe Atlanta will do the smart thing and go with a defensive lineman or an edge rusher with their first pick in the first round. Dallas Turner out of Alabama would be my pick, but I will let Terry Fontenot be the judge of that. Honestly, Atlanta may be more inclined to go with an offensive lineman like Joe Alt out of Notre Dame than to add another weapon for Cousins to go to work with.

Atlanta signed Cousins in free agency to make up the difference offensively, not be gifted everything.

4. New York Jets will be about as far as Malik Nabers could fall to at No. 10

Where things stand now, I have no idea how the New York Jets would pass on Malik Nabers if he were to fall to them picking at No. 10. He may be a rookie, and this team is in win-now mode. However, he comes across as an immediate impact player, one who Aaron Rodgers would love to throw the ball to. After all, how many first-round wide receivers did he ever get when he was playing over in Green Bay?

Beggars can't be choosers, and I would be shocked if Nabers made it out of the top 10. New York may be the landing spot for Georgia tight end Brock Bowers, but for the value, Nabers may end up being the pick, all things considered. To me, the only thing that matters for the Jets is making the playoffs this year. Not next year, not the year after that, this year. Rodgers is not getting any younger either.

Over the last few years, defense hasn't been the issue for Gang Green. It has been its abject failure on offense with Zach Wilson proving every day and twice on Sundays that he doesn't even really belong in the league. Rodgers will likely end up being deodorant for the offense once again, but he too could use some help. Whether that is in the form of Bowers, or even Nabers, remains to be seen. Take flight!

It also honestly serves the Jets to take the best player available at No. 10, and that might be Nabers...

3. New York Giants should go with Malik Nabers over J.J. McCarthy

It shouldn't be this hard, but you're not the boss of me, New York Giants. I mean, they might be Giants, but life is unfair to the IBM of the NFL. Outside of two Super Bowls Eli Manning kind of sort of lucked into, this brand has been all sizzle and no steak. It's not even steak; it is reheated mashed potatoes. So instead of drafting their next Daniel Jones in J.J. McCarthy at No. 6, what about Malik Nabers?

This would almost make up for the absolute stooge buffoonery of letting Saquon Barkley walk in his free agency to the arch rival Philadelphia Eagles. To be honest, Nabers may end up being the better player in New York than even Barkley. After all, the last time they drafted a great wide receiver out of LSU, Odell Beckham Jr. made that catch in a loss. It was a helluva catch, a career-defining one, too.

As the Giants have to deal with the poor decisions they made yesteryear, a good start would be to add a wide receiver who can flip the field like Nabers. They may have drafted a great one out of Tennessee last year in Jalin Hyatt, but is route tree is far from being in full bloom. Nabers may not need the most robust route tree to star in this league. Get him the ball in space and watch him fly.

If I were running the New York Football Giants, I would take Nabers over McCarthy with the No. 6 pick.

2. Chicago Bears must get Caleb Williams a weapon with the No. 9 pick

There are one of three options for the Chicago Bears to go with the No. 9 overall pick. They could either hope Malik Nabers falls to them, draft Rome Odunze out of Washington, or take Brock Bowers out of Georgia to be their new star tight end. Odunze is probably the most likely candidate to go to Chicago at No. 9, but I think if Nabers were to still be on the board, the Bears would go get their guy.

Ideally, you would love to pair Caleb Williams with someone like Marvin Harrison Jr., but he is probably going to be coming off the board at No. 4 to the Arizona Cardinals. Although they could be a candidate to move back in the NFL Draft, he is the best non-quarterback in the draft. Therefore, it would take a mighty haul to have Arizona move back from picking inside the top four. Will it happen?

No matter if it does or not, the Bears know exactly what they need to do with their own pick inside of the top 10. They need to get Williams a weapon. Losing Darnell Mooney to the Atlanta Falcons in his free agency certainly amplifies that. Although Nabers would be an incredible fit for the Bears, again, he is more likely to go top-five than top-10. Since the Bears will be at No. 9, they better hope he falls.

It serves Chicago to do their homework on all three pass-catching prospects after taking Williams.

1. Los Angeles Chargers could trade back or take Malik Nabers at No. 5

This is the most logical landing spot for Malik Nabers. With Keenan Allen leaving for the Chicago Bears and Mike Williams for the New York Jets this offseason, who does Justin Herbert have to throw the ball to? Jim Harbaugh may get the most out of his unreal talent at the quarterback position, but talent is a beautiful thing to waste. Can the guy get the coaching his arm talent has long deserved?

So what I would do if I were the Los Angeles Chargers would be to take either Malik Nabers at No. 5, or hope that Marvin Harrison Jr. were to somehow fall into their lap. This would require Chicago, Washington and New England all taking a quarterback, as well as somebody trading up to No. 4 in a deal with Arizona. Georgia tight end Brock Bowers could be in play at No. 5, as could Rome Odunze.

All things equal, No. 5 is about as early as where Nabers could realistically come off the board. Harbaugh took the job because he wanted to coach Herbert. He may have played for the Chargers at the tail-end of his professional career, but his football life is defined by how good of a coach he is. Nabers has played in plenty of big-time games at LSU. He will be a star playing over in Los Angeles.

The Chargers need a jolt of something offensively in the passing game, so Nabers is my solution.

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