Catch you later: With legacy intact, LSU’s Malik Nabers enters 2024 NFL Draft

Jayden Daneils, Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. have all signed their rookie deals after being drafted in the first round. PHOTO BY: Jonathan Mailhes

LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers gave the Tigers everything he had, including one farewell performance.

With his legacy as the greatest wide receiver in school history already secured, Nabers accompanied the Tigers to the ReliaQuest Bowl and caught an additional three passes for 23 yards.

Not only does the 6-foot, 200-pound Nabers leave as the school’s career leader in receptions, but yardage as well following the bowl performance – a 35-31 victory – which turned out to be his last in purple and gold.

Nabers, a junior, announced on social media Saturday that he was entering his name into the 2024 NFL Draft where according to one mock draft, he could go as high as the fourth overall pick.

Nabers was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award after leading the nation during the regular season with 1,546 yards and was second in touchdowns with 14 behind teammate Brian Thomas Jr., who also declared for the NFL Draft.

Defensive tackle Mekhi Wingo also entered his name into the NFL Draft along with center Charles Turner III, defensive tackle Jordan Jefferson and safety Andre Sam.

Nabers, a first-team All-SEC selection and consensus All-America choice, finished the 2023 season with 89 catches for 1,569 yards and 14 touchdowns – all of which ranked in LSU’s top five in single-season history. He led the nation with 10-plus-yard plays (59), 20-plus-yard plays (34) and 30-plus-yard (17).

His receptions and yardage both rank No. 3 all-time and his TD mark was fourth. In addition, his 120.7 yards-per-game average ranking third, his 17.6 yards-per-catch average is fifth best. His receiving grade of 93.5 from Pro Football Focus is the highest in the nation.

Nabers stands alone atop the school’s record book with 189 receptions and 3,003 yards and his 21 TDs tie him for seventh with Michael Clayton.  

Nabers caught at least one pass in his last 31 games and had at least one reception in 37 of his 38 career games. He also became one of two wide receivers in school history to record multiple 1,000-yard-plus seasons.

He led LSU in 2022 with 72 catches for 1,017 yards and 3 TDs and was named the MVP in team’s Citrus Bowl against Purdue.

Nabers is a consensus No. 5 pick to the New York Giants in the next year’s draft, the second wide receiver off the board behind Biletnikoff winner Marvin Harrison Jr. of Ohio State.

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William Weathers

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