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Malik Nabers is WR 1



Electric. Lightning, but there is no bottle.


The game is about speed, and Malik Nabers has all of it.


He simply glides by defenders. If you give him cushion, he'll tear it apart. The Mississippi State game was comical. 239 yards and 2 touchdowns, and most of the game, he's just strolling around untouched. Effortlessly blows by these defenders with the slot fade.




In addition to running by everyone, Malik has fantastic aerial control. The 2nd TD against Mississippi State and the one in the clip below are identical pictures of this deadly combination. Some athletes run around the track, others high jump over 6ft poles. Malik does them both. Catch, spin, toe tap, touchdown.




Note two twirls on this TD play. The defender being the first. Malik's speed forces the DB to open his hips to guard the fade, while Malik immediately slides underneath. An off-target ball is thrown behind him, but he twirls to adjust. In doing so, Malik loses no momentum. Instead, he spins that momentum towards the endzone, carrying two defenders with him. Bang-bang ballet.




Malik's explosiveness shows up in his release footwork as well. Cornerbacks are terrified of his speed. Here, he slow dances off the line before sharply stabbing to the inside, taking the CB with him. When Malik bursts back outside, he's doubled the distance between himself and the defender. Even though Malik looks back early for a back-shoulder fade, the CB is hesitant and fails to close the space. The CB knows if he chases Malik, Malik will run over the top of him. He's been laterally exposed, he cannot risk being vertically exposed. So the space stays clean for an easy first down pitch and catch.




Malik's ability to cover ground quickly with huge lateral strides pairs very well with his Shoulder Release technique. Malik stabs outside, then dips his shoulder back inside, ripping through potential contact and protecting his chest. Both LSU WRs have been coached extremely well with this move. In the example below, it helps him earn a defensive holding penalty.




Same release move here, a little further downfield. Dip around contact, then throw a defender into the dirt. Grace & grit.




You don't typically run hitch against press. No one expects a receiver to separate in such a small space while working exclusively in the vertical plane. It's typically converted to fade/back-shoulder. For whatever reason, LSU keeps the hitch on. The result is magic. Malik works a Hesi-Single release to the outside fade and swats the CB's hand to keep himself clean. The magic is in this giant drive step: before he brakes, Malik LEAPS forward with a monster stride. The vertical attack carries the CB upfield as Malik snaps down with an efficient hop stop. He's the Slinky Assassin. Just launching himself into his cuts like a madman.




It's a bit silly. Every single break covers an absurd amount of ground. He's dead in the water here. He threw himself toward the ball, like Spiderman pulling himself to a wall. He's all the way back to the line of scrimmage with a defender coming downhill, and he dances right out of it. He can escape anything.




Malik has perfected the YAC Loop, seamlessly transitioning downhill momentum into a hunt for green grass. Toward the ball, away from defender, then up & around in an instant.




He explodes on contact, shredding the sinews of spacetime. 0-100 in three steps.




He's a Wormhole Rider. From dead-stop to full sprint. There's nothing like it in this class.


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