How Many Receiving Yards Will Malik Nabers Record in His Rookie Season?

Skyler Carlin
Skyler Carlin@skyler_carlin
How Many Receiving Yards Will Malik Nabers Record in His Rookie Season?

The 2024 NFL Draft has concluded, giving us a chance to predict how certain rookies will perform on their new teams. Before the draft began, there were plenty of rumors that the New York Giants were looking to take a quarterback early in the first round.

Instead of making a move up or staying put to select a signal-caller, the Giants used the No. 6 overall pick of this year's draft on wide receiver Malik Nabers. Nabers gives Daniel Jones a much-needed weapon in the passing game, but will the duo form a solid rapport next season?

Following the results of the draft, FanDuel Sportsbook is offering NFL odds on stat lines for the incoming rookies. Upon learning Nabers is on his way to the Big Apple, let's dive into the over/under for his receiving yards prop in 2024-25, which is currently set at 840.5.

Malik Nabers Projections

Why Malik Nabers Could Record Over 840.5 Receiving Yards (-112)

Since Odell Beckham tallied 1,052 receiving yards in 2018, the Giants haven't had a wideout eclipse 800 receiving yards in a single season. The most receiving yards a Giants receiver has recorded in a single season since then isDarius Slayton, who had only 770 receiving yards in 2023.

While that information could be arguments against Nabers' success as a rookie, the LSU pass-catcher is arguably the most talented receiver the Giants have had since Beckham's departure before he's even taken a snap in the NFL. To finish his collegiate career, Nabers was tied for the 11th-most receptions (89), second-most receiving yards (1,568), and tied for the third-most receiving touchdowns (14) among wideouts with 75-plus targets in 2023, via PFF.

Additionally, Nabers posted the third-most yards per route run (3.64), which was the most among wideouts taken in this year's draft. There was no shortage of big plays from LSU's offense this past season with Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. catching passes from Jayden Daniels.

One reason why New York has struggled to find a legitimate go-to receiver sans Beckham is the fact they have quite a few wideouts who are considered short for a receiver and do most of their damage out of the slot. Aside from Slayton, the Giants leaned on the likes of Wan'Dale Robinson and Jalin Hyatt in the aerial attack a season ago.

Nabers is capable of winning on the outside or in the slot, indicated by him seeing 241 slot snaps and 209 snaps out wide across his 450 passing-down snaps last season. Of the college wideouts with 50-plus targets out of the slot in 2023, Nabers had the second-most yards per reception (19.4) and the most yards per route run (4.35).

Even with Jones entering a decisive season under center, we've seen a healthy version of the former first-round pick throw for 3,205 yards in 2022 when Slayton and Richie James accounted for 37.7% of the team's passing yards. With the expectation of Nabers assuming the No. 1 role in New York's passing attack, ESPN's Mike Clay is projecting him for 78 receptions, 1,032 yards, and five touchdowns on 127 targets in his rookie campaign.

Why Malik Nabers Could Record Under 840.5 Receiving Yards (-112)

Can we trust the Giants to take a step forward in the passing game with Jones operating the controls on offense? Given the reports and information we received in the pre-draft process, New York did their due diligence on this year's quarterback prospects and attempted to make a move up to select one of the top consensus signal-callers.

Their efforts were for naught, leading them to place their confidence in Jones -- who they gave a four-year, $160 million deal to before the 2023 campaign. While the completion percentage has improved for Jones in recent years, is last year's showing any indication on what we'll get from the Duke product moving forward?

Although it was a limited sample size of six games in an injury-riddled year for Jones in 2023, he produced a dismal team-worst -0.36 expected points added per drop back, via NextGenStats. Inconsistent quarterback play is one factor that could lead Nabers to have an underwhelming rookie season in the league.

Aside from Jones being a question mark entirely, we have also yet to see Jones be a consistent downfield thrower. Even in Jones' arguably best season in 2022, he had the lowest attempt rate of passes 20-plus yards (4.9%) among quarterbacks with 25-plus attempts of 20-plus yards.

Having someone like Robinson in the slot who can command targets often could put a slight dent in Nabers' immediate role. Robinson finished with the second-highest target share (18.6%) on the Giants when he became active in Week 3 of last season and Slayton will likely maintain a role on the outside opposite of Nabers.

If Jones isn't comfortable stretching the field with deep throws, Nabers may be limited in the number of vertical plays he'll have an opportunity to make. While I'm a believer in Nabers having 841-plus receiving yards as a rookie, there are certainly reasons for skepticism.

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