Giants’ second-year receiver impressed with rookie teammate: ‘You know he’s going to be elite’

Right, Steve Smith, a former pro bowl NFL wide receiver, works with wide receivers Jalin Hyatt and Malik Nabers. The NY Giants NFL team held an organized team activity at their training facility in East Rutherford, NJ on Thursday May 30, 2024.
Tariq Zehawi/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

Hype is building around New York Giants rookie first-round pick Malik Nabers. The Giants drafted Nabers with the sixth-overall pick in this year’s draft to the excitement of the fanbase. It’s been nearly six years since Big Blue has had a 1,000-yard receiver in a single season, but Nabers aims to end that drought sooner rather than later.

Malik Nabers is making a strong impression on his Giants teammates

Steve Smith, center, is a two-time former All-Pro NFL wide receiver assisting with the NY Giants this spring. Here he works with Jalin Hyatt (13) and rookie Malik Nabers (9) in East Rutherford, NJ on Thursday May 30, 2024.
Steve Smith, center, is a two-time former All-Pro NFL wide receiver assisting with the NY Giants this spring. Here he works with Jalin Hyatt (13) and rookie Malik Nabers (9) in East Rutherford, NJ on Thursday May 30, 2024. | Credit: Tariq Zehawi/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

Nabers has been turning heads at OTAs and leaving a strong impression on his fellow Giants teammates. Second-year wide receiver Jalin Hyatt (who is also preparing for a breakout season) gave Nabers high praise while speaking with the media:

“Yeah, man, he looked good,” Hyatt said per The New York Post. “I have no worries about him. Just seeing how he plays, watching his film, you know he’s going to be elite.”

The potential for Nabers to be an elite wide receiver at the next level is certainly there. He wrapped up a fantastic collegiate career in 2023, totaling 89 receptions for 1,569 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior. His supreme athleticism and production made Nabers one of the draft’s most exciting skill-position players.

Nabers and Hyatt could form a deadly receiving duo

East Rutherford , NJ — May 10, 2024 -- The number one draft pick for the Giants is wide receiver Malik Nabers as the NY Giants hold their Rookie Camp and introduce their new draft picks.
East Rutherford , NJ — May 10, 2024 — The number one draft pick for the Giants is wide receiver Malik Nabers as the NY Giants hold their Rookie Camp and introduce their new draft picks. Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK Credit: Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

Nabers is combining with Hyatt, who Big Blue traded up to select in the third round of last year’s draft. Both Nabers and Hyatt were elite deep threats during their collegiate careers. The Giants are hoping they will pair together and grow into a fearsome receiving duo this season.

Nabers was among the best deep-receiving threats in this year’s draft class, totaling 624 yards (third-most in the draft class) and nine touchdowns on 20+ yard targets in 2023. Nabers received 29 deep targets (second-most in the draft class), hauling in 19 of them, including 5/8 on contested catch targets. His 97.8 deep receiving grade ranked No. 1 among all wide receivers in the draft class, per Pro Football Focus.

Hyatt was the best deep threat in his draft class, hauling in 14 deep receptions for 677 yards (the most in that draft class). According to PFF, Hyatt also finished first in deep touchdowns (eight), deep YAC (166), yards per route run on deep passes (28.21), and tied with Quentin Johnston of the Los Angeles Chargers for the deepest average depth of target (35.5 yards) on deep balls. He finished the 2022 campaign with 67 receptions for 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns.

The sky is the limit for the Giants’ young receiving duo of Nabers and Hyatt. The Giants need to improve their offensive production this season and the potential breakout of these two wide receivers could be the catalyst to success.

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