Recent boom in WR market makes Giants’ first-round pick even more valuable

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The New York Giants’ first-round pick in this year’s draft has become even more valuable as a result of the recent boom in wide receiver contracts. The Giants selected Malik Nabers with the No. 6 overall pick in the draft, securing an elite playmaking talent on a relatively cheap, cost-controlled deal for the next several years. The recent explosion in average value for top-end wide receiver contracts makes Nabers an even more valuable component of New York’s roster.

The wide receiver market has been reset

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
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Minnesota Vikings All-Pro wide receiver Justin Jefferson signed a record-breaking contract on Monday morning that reset the wide receiver market. He signed a four-year, $140 million deal paying him an average annual salary of $35 million. This deal makes Jefferson the highest-paid wide receiver of all time and just the fourth in league history to earn over $30 million in average annual salary. A fifth could soon join that club as Dallas Cowboys All-Pro CeeDee Lamb is in line to receive a massive extension this offseason.

Jefferson officially reset the wide receiver market in a major way. The increasing price tag for superstar wideouts has consequently increased the value of having an elite playmaker on a rookie contract. It is more important than ever for NFL teams to hit on their draft picks at the wide receiver position and take advantage of their rookie contract windows.

Malik Nabers’s rookie contract is an absolute bargain

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.
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As the sixth-overall pick in this year’s class, Nabers signed a fully guaranteed, four-year, $29.2 million contract with a fifth-year team option. Nabers will earn an average annual salary of $7.3 million on his rookie contract.

If Nabers plays up to expectations and develops into a perennial 1,000-yard receiver, his contract will look like an absolute bargain compared to the rest of the top wide receivers in the NFL.

The Giants expect Nabers to play at an elite level

Nov 18, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Malik Nabers (8) hauls in a 40-yard touchdown pass against the Georgia State Panthers in the fourth quarter at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports

Nabers is expected to step in immediately as Big Blue’s No. 1 playmaker. The 6-foot, 190-pound wideout was a dominant force in the SEC during his collegiate career. In 2023, he racked up 89 receptions for 1,569 yards and 14 touchdowns.

The Giants plan to make Nabers the focal point of their offense. He has been training hard this spring and receiving additional mentoring and coaching from NFL legend Steve Smith Sr. at OTAs.

The Giants haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2018 — the longest drought of any NFL team. Nabers should end this drought as a rookie. And considering his potential impact as a perennial 1,000-yard receiver, Nabers’s contract could quickly turn into an absolute bargain for Big Blue.

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