Dynamic WR might be out of reach for Jaguars after outstanding 40-yard time

Malik Nabers 8 as the LSU Tigers take on Texas A&M in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,
Malik Nabers 8 as the LSU Tigers take on Texas A&M in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, / SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network / USA

The Jacksonville Jaguars may take a wide receiver with the 17th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, their chances of landing Malib Nabers if they stay put¡ have decreased after he posted an amazing 40-yard dash at his pro day.

Nabers was one of several players who worked out at LSU's Pro Day. He made the most of his chances and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds, solidifying his place as one of the top receiver prospects in this year's draft class.

Cameron Wolfe of NFL Media reported that the Jaguars were one of several teams that met with Nabers before he worked out at his pro day, so they most definitely kept an eye on him when he performed.

The consensus has generally seen Nabers as the second-best receiver prospect, behind Marvin Harrison Jr. However, he's making a case to be the first one off the board. Besides his outstanding 40-yard time, the former Tiger logged a 42-inch vertical jump. A four-star recruit out of high school, he can line up anywhere across the field and has the speed to stretch the field. Last season, he reeled in 89 receptions for 1,569 yards with 14 touchdowns.

On the other hand, Derrick Klassen of the Bleacher Report Scouting Department believes Thomas has to work on his release at the line of scrimmage, especially when he faces press coverage. Then again, Klassen thinks the 2021 Freshman All-SEC is the kind of player who can make an impact in the NFL right out of the bat.

The Jaguars may have better odds of drafting Brian Thomas Jr. than Malik Nabers

Maybe the Jacksonville Jaguars were just doing due diligence on Malik Nabers but if their interest in him is legitimate, they'll need to trade up to have a shot at taking him. Just recently, The 33rd Team suggested the Jags give up picks No. 17, 48, and a fifth-rounder in 2025 to move up to the No. 9 spot for Rome Odunze. They could easily select Nabers with that pick if he's available.

The trouble is that Jacksonville may be better off holding on to their second-round pick and addressing other needs besides receiver. After all, this year's crops will be loaded, so even if they miss out on either Nabers or Odunze, they could select Adonai Mitchell or Naber's former teammate, Brian Thomas Jr. in the first round. And that's the thing.

Nabers has been long expected to be gone by the time the Jaguars are on the clock at No. 17. Maybe they met with him in case he slides, but that will be unlikely, especially after his pro day. That said, Thomas wouldn't be a consolation prize if Jacksonville goes receiver, as he's also projected to be a first-round pick.

Head coach Doug Pederson, for his part, acknowledges that this will be a deep receiver class, so the Jaguars could wait until the second or third round to add one. In fact, nobody should bat an eye if the Jaguars take a cornerback or a pass rusher in the first round. The team's brass has previously talked about going with the best player available, and there's a chance that will be their approach at No. 17.

The truth is that the Jacksonville Jaguars would love to draft a player of Malik Naber's caliber, but he'll most likely be gone when they're on the clock. Fortunately for them, there still be intriguing prospects on the board when it's their time to pick.

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