Malik Nabers and Brock Bowers bring the type of playmaking versatility that is featured in Super Bowls (Part 1)

NCAA Football: ReliaQuest Bowl-Wisconsin at Louisiana State
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Why Malik Nabers and Brock Bowers check all the boxes for the Arizona Cardinals

In today’s NFL, versatile WRs and TEs who can win from the slot, from a variety of motions and on the perimeter have redefined the position.

They have become today’s WR1s.

2023 NFL All-Pro First Team:

  • WR —- Tyreek Hill (MIA), CeeDee Lamb (DAL), Amon-Ra St, Brown (DET)
  • TE —- George Kittle (SF)

Winning Games in Today’s NFL —- Is about Winning the Middle of the Field:

When offenses can control the middle of the field with “go-to”, versatile WRs and stud TEs, they are apt to win a lion’s share of their games.

Take last year’s final 4 offenses in the NFL —- what do all 4 have in common?

Go-to TEs:

  • KC —- Travis Kelce
  • SF —- George Kittle
  • BAL —- Mark Andrews
  • DET —- Sam LaPorta

Note; this isn’t some sort of fluke.

Versatile Go-to WRs:

  • KC —- Rashee Rice
  • SF —- Brandon Aiyuk
  • BAL —- Zay Flowers
  • DET —- Amon-Ra St. Brown

Note: Of these 8 receivers, 3 were rookies this year (LaPorta, Rice and Flowers).

Leading Rookie WRs and TEs in 2023:

  • Puka Nacua (LAR R5) —- 105 / 1,486 / 6 TD / 639 YAC
  • Rashee Rice (KC R2) —- 79 / 938 / 7 TD / 652 YAC
  • Jordan Addison (MIN R1) —- 70 / 911 / 10 TD / 262 YAC
  • Sam LaPorta (DET R2) —- 86 / 889 / 10 TD / 358 YAC
  • Zay Flowers (BAL R1) —- 77 / 858 / 5 TD / 387 YAC
  • Tank Dell (HOU R3) —- 47 / 709 / 7 TD / 152 YAC
  • Dalton Kincaid (BUF R2) —- 73 / 673 / 5 TD / 315 YAC
  • Jaxson Smith-Njigba (SEA R1) —- 63 / 628 / 4 TD / 366 YAC

The Two 2024 NFL Draft Prospects Who Best Fit the Profile are WR Malik Nabers and TE Brock Bowers:

Today we focus on Malik Nabers:

Malik Nabers is imo the most explosive and versatile WR in the 2024 NFL Draft. That’s why, he will very likely be the first WR selected.

The amazing thought that comes to mind is that because of his supreme versatility, Malik Nabers appears to be a dazzling combination of both Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson.

Is Malik Nabers a good fit for the Cardinals?

100% yes.

The dude wins from anywhere on the field. Think of how much chemistry Kyler had with Christian Kirk. Then double or triple it. Nabers is an absolute master of double moves, far more consistently than any receiver in this draft. And Nabers (6-0, 200) is 2 inches taller than Christian Kirk (5-10, 201). Add Malik’s 42” vertical to C-Kirk’s 35.5” vertical and:

  • Malik Nabers: 6’0” (72”) + 42” V = 114” —- 4.35 40
  • Christian Kirk: 5’10” (70’) + 35.5” V = 105.5” —- 4.47 40
  • Ja’Marr Chase: 6’0” (72”) + 41” V = 113” —- 4.38 40
  • Justin Jefferson: 6-1” (73”) + 37.5” V = 110.5” —-4.43 40
  • Brian Thomas Jr.: 6’3” (75”) + 38.5” V = 113.5” —- 4.33 40
  • Rome Odunze: 6’3” (75”) + 39” V = 114” —- 4.45 40

Malik Nabers Draft and Combine Prospect Profile | NFL.com

“(Ja’Marr) Chase was more of a dude physically and (Justin) Jefferson was already really skilled when he came out, but you can see some flashes of both of those guys with the way [Nabers] plays.” – AFC personnel executive

All-Time Leading Receivers in LSU History in Yards:

  • 1. Malik Nabers —- 3,003
  • 7. Justin Jefferson —-2,415
  • 9. Odell Beckham Jr. —- 2,340
  • 12. Ja’Marr Chase —- 2,093

Which WR will get drafted first, Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze?

I think most of us would agree that an outstanding case can be made for all three.

I was just listening to an interview that Daniel Jeremiah had on the Joel Klatt Show, where he said that he was talking to a GM whose 1st pick in the 20s —- so that GM has no chance of drafting MHJ, Nabers or Odunze —- and he told DJ that he has Malik Nabers at the top of his WR board —- because as DJ then put it very succinctly:

“What Nebers has is a club in his bag that MHJ and Odunze don’t have in terms of the juice, the speed, tackle-breaking and making you miss —- the majority of what happens after the catch.”

In one word —- versatility.

Could Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze be taken over Marvin Harrison Jr.? | Joel Klatt Show (youtube.com)

DJ went on to say that he went back and watched the 2022 tapes of Caleb Williams and MHJ to re-affirm what made him fall in love with them in the first place. Which is why, DJ still has Caleb Williams as his #1 QB and Marvin Harrison Jr. as his #1 WR.

Now mind you, this interview took place before Malkin Nabers ran a 4.35 and posted a 42” vertical —- what could be of paramount importance —is the context of the best prepared WR to win the middle of the field.

Super Bowl history confirms that all of 8 WRs who won MVPs while helping their teams bring home the Lombardi Trophy are ones who consistently made big catches for RAC yards over the middle:

  • Lynn Swann —- 5-11, 180 —- 4.50
  • Fred Biletnikoff —- 6-1, 190 —- 4.70
  • Jerry Rice —-6-2, 200 —- 4.71
  • Deion Branch —- 5-9, 195 —- 4.45
  • Hines Ward —- 6-0, 205 —- 4.55
  • Santonio Holmes —- 5-11, 192 —- 4.45
  • Julian Edelman —-5-10, 198 —- 4.52
  • Cooper Kupp —- 6-2, 208 —- 4.62

The gist is that Malik Nabers at 6-0, 199, with 4.35 speed and a 42” vertical has the ideal physical and stylistic ability to dominate at his position.

ROTB Poll:

Coming tomorrow or Monday, Part 2: Brock Bowers

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Title: Malik Nabers and Brock Bowers bring the type of playmaking versatility that is featured in Super Bowls (Part 1)
Author: Walter Mitchell

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