Malik Nabers Ready to Bring “Dog Mentality” to the Giants

The long wait for the New York Giants to recruit their newest talented playmaker is finally over, as LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers is making his way to the Big Apple and bringing with him something the city will come to appreciate.

LSU Tigers wide receiver Malik Nabers

After months of speculation, the Giants selected Nabers at the sixth overall selection during round one of the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit, a decision many expected to reach the top of their list on Thursday night. It all fell into place for them after the board went quarterback-heavy early, with all three top gunslingers getting snagged in the first three selections to Chicago, Washington, and New England.

Thus, the Giants had their dream scenario of picking any of the top three pass catchers on their big board. They ended up with arguably the most talented prospect in Nabers, who sees New York as an uncharted yet perfect place to unleash what he coined his “dog mentality.”

“I’m excited to see the city, be with my teammates, learn the offense, learn my quarterback, and just be in New York,” Neybers said at his first presser as a Giant. I’ve never been to New York. I’ve only been there once. So, living there, I’m gonna need some help.”

“I know it’s a great city. I’m gonna bring my family with me, bring God with me, and bring that dog mentality that I have there.”

While learning the location might take some time for the soon-to-be 20-year-old in blue, the same won’t be said for getting familiar with the people within the organization. During the pre-draft process, the LSU ballhawk spent much time with key Giants members, including conversations at his pro day with head coach Brian Daboll and visits with the other wide receiver prospects in East Rutherford.

During their encounters, the two sides developed great chemistry over a strong desire to compete. Sharing those same qualities with Daboll and team leadership made Nabers realize he could have the ideal future home in New York to plant the seeds of a budding professional career.

“It was very likely, you know, I knew Dabes. He conversated with a lot of my coaches, and he really liked my game,” said Nabers of his new coach. He has a great personality, makes people laugh in the room, and he’s gonna compete with you for sure. And he has high standards for his athletes. So I’m hoping he sets high standards for me, and I live up to those.”

Nabers set the bar high as he ascended the collegiate ranks in his three seasons with the Tigers from 2021-23. As a junior last fall, he led the LSU offense with a career-high 89 receptions for 1,569 yards, 14 touchdowns, and an average of 17.6 yards per catch. His numbers increasingly shot up in that same time, showing an increased ability to be the No. 1 guy for any NFL huddle.

Once he arrives in New York, the Giants will count on Nabers for that same role in their offenses and to provide Daniel Jones with a dynamic receiving weapon that has been missing for several seasons. He’ll also be the first LSU wide receiver since Odell Beckham Jr. to join the team’s huddle and be expected to contribute heavily. Still, the young man isn’t concerned with following in his footsteps and instead setting his own legacy.

“I’m able to play different positions, you know, create separation, and open up a great window for the quarterback to throw me the ball. I’m a great teammate and leader. I’m an all-around great football player with a dog mentality when I’m out there on the field.”

Nabers will partner up with a slew of rising stars in the Giants receiving corps, including fellow SEC alum Jalin Hyatt, whom Nabers watched and competed against during their respective collegiate runs. The crew will look to pack an explosive punch to a unit that ranked 31st and 28th in passing yards and touchdowns, respectively, last season and put pressure on a widely margined NFC East division.

Despite having all that talent within their ranks, there will be a period of adjustment and, for Nabers, growth as the Giants learn how to unveil their rivaling skill against the NFL’s best competition. The newest draftee knows this is where he can count on his teammates to lead him into the offense and bond on what it takes to succeed at the next level.

As he prepares to enter his first NFL training camp and season in a few months, the focus will be on taking it all in and showing off what he can bring to the table when he suits up for the first time in September. Then, it’ll be about helping the Giants build that same dog mentality he has mastered in his entire football journey.

“There’s a lot more to grow, you know, especially since I’m a young NFL person coming in. I have a lot to learn, a lot to learn how to be a pro,” Nabers said.

“They’re going to learn me and how I play. I’m going to learn my teammates and the offense, and we’re going to just see where it leads.”

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