NFL insiders shed light on alleged Malik Nabers’ off-field concerns, hint at motive of report

Malik Nabers, 2024 NFL Draft

LSU Tigers wide receiver Malik Nabers is one of the best players in the 2024 NFL Draft and is widely expected to be one of the first players chosen. However, recent NFL rumors have emerged suggesting the unanimous All-American could pose an off-field risk for the team that drafts him.

Tony Pauline of Sportskeeda reported on April 5 from anonymous sources that while teams love Nabers’ skills, he is viewed as being “high maintenance” and it was suggested he will struggle in a big city. Nabers’ past at LSU, stemming from an arrest for carrying an illegal weapon, was also highlighted. However, the charge was dropped in February 2023.

  • Malik Nabers stats (ESPN): 89 receptions, 1,569 receiving yards, 14 touchdowns, 17.6 yards per catch during the 2023 season

The alleged off-field concern was the only legitimate knock on Nabers ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft. He is widely viewed as the caliber of player who can immediately become a No. 1 receiver at the next level, with some in the league holding him in even higher regard as a prospect than Ja’Marr Chase.

However, it now appears the leak about Nabers’ behavior and being ‘high maintenance’ might’ve been an intentional leak put out there with the intent of trying to push Nabers down the draft.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft wide receiver rankings, see where Malik Nabers lands

On the Yahoo Sports’ “Inside Coverage” podcast, NFL reporter Charles Robinson pushed back on the previous rumors around Nabers and said he’s never heard anything negative about Nabers’ maturity nor his ability to handle playing in a big city.

“Up until this point in the process, I never heard any problems about Malik Nabers. I never heard of this idea of the big city stuff, I think you have a player who is going to be very, very highly drafted, he’s very close to Marvin Harrison Jr. in terms of the split.”

Charles Robinson on LSU Tigers wide receiver Malik Nabers

Related: ESPN NFL analyst reveals which team he thinks Malik Nabers is perfect for

Robinson isn’t the only NFL reported to push back on the anonymous claims made against Nabers. Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz also called out the report and indicated it might’ve come from a team who wanted Nabers to fall to them.

“There is so much wrong with this “report,” I don’t even know where to start. To attack a young person’s character with anonymous quotes less than three weeks before the NFL Draft is flat-out wrong. Malik Nabers deserves better. This stuff happens every year during draft season, and largely, most of it is false and is being spread to get a player to drop. Stop with this.”

Jordan Schultz on the report about Malik Nabers’ alleged off-field concerns

Related: Fantasy football rookie rankings 2024

With multiple NFL reports strongly refuting the report, it appears clear that teams and coaches around the league don’t view him as an off-field risk. With no questions about his maturity or coachability, Nabers should be one of the first six players taken in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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