Film Review: What LSU Football is Getting in Receiver Malik Nabers

Film Review: What LSU Football is Getting in Receiver Malik Nabers
When placing together LSU’s recruiting class, adding local product Malik Nabers late in the recruiting process was huge. The one-time Mississippi State commitment hails from Youngsville (La.) Southside and provides a different skill set than most wide receivers.

At 6-foot-0, 190-pounds, Nabers is not huge, but he plays like it. One of the most physical wide receivers in the land, Nabers overpowers many players attempting to cover him. Therefore, perhaps his best attribute would be strength.

While a wide receiver by trade, the way Nabers plays and the way he physically overtakes the competition allows one to view him in a totally different light. One could argue that Nabers plays more like a big running back that would rather toss aside a linebacker instead of going around him.

After a catch, Nabers will literally carry a defender three yards on his back. He’s a powerful young man. That strength allows him to be aggressive with defensive backs that want to play bump and run coverage, as well as break tackles after a reception. His strength also came into play when playing in the secondary.

As a defensive back, Nabers even threw a wide receiver in the air when he was being blocked. Now, strength and aggressiveness aside, this type of competitive spirit is something LSU Football has prided itself on for decades. Take a look at this clip.

Although Nabers is definitely a great fit for LSU at boundary wide receiver, he’s aggressive and talented enough to play strong safety and be a force. Again, this is a mindset. Nabers possesses the ability to run by defenders or play in the secondary, but it’s his overall toughness that will allow him success no matter which position he plays. Check out Nabers as he navigates through the secondary after catching a screen.

Nabers displayed his quickness and strength during that screen, and he’s deceptively fast as well. He has a very natural gate and it’s effortless. That’s a big reason he blows by defensive backs. Sometimes defensive backs wait too long to turn and run from their back pedal when guarding Nabers. By then, too late.

Nabers will run by a defender, and he also does a nice job of side stepping would be tacklers as well. His crafty after the catch running ability allow Nabers to really add up the receiving yards. That’s why projecting his position becomes interesting.

As for fitting into LSU, Nabers can do so at the boundary wide receiver position, but he’s such a natural wide receiver that nobody should be surprised if he plays some slot wide receiver and some field receiver. Also an adept blocker with his strength and competitive nature, LSU may utilize him as a key blocker for a player like Kayshon Boutte during a screen.

Nabers all-around game should allow him an opportunity to play early in his career. The physical nature, competitiveness, and ability to get yards after the catch make Nabers a unique player. Special teams seem like a natural fit for this young man as well.

Nabers is a bona fide football player, first and foremost. LSU fans will see a truly unique player when he steps on the field for the purple and gold.

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