Jaguars should not hesitate to trade up for dream target in 2024 NFL Draft

• Trading up seems like the only way the Jaguars will land their dream WR target.
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 could use help at wide receiver after losing Calvin Ridley in free agency. And to get it, they may be willing to trade up for one of the top receiver prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft.

John Shipley of Sports Illustrated reports that the Jags are "extremely high on Nabers," noting that if they trade up in the first round to select a receiver, it will be Nabers.

"When speaking with team sources in Jacksonville, though, the impression is the Jaguars are extremely high on Nabers. If they move up for a No. 1 receiver, I think it will be Nabers. Nabers has the athleticism and yards after catch potential to be a big-play threat from Day 1, and the Jaguars could move him around the formation (much like Calvin Ridley should have been used) with Christian Kirk in the slot and Gabe Davis at X."

The Jaguars talked to Nabers at LSU's Pro Day but have also met also with Rome Odunze at the scouting combine. Nabers and Odunze, along with Marvin Harrison Jr., are the big 3 receiver prospects in this year's class.

Even though Harrison was the consensus No. 1 to start the offseason, a handful of teams have gone on to place Nabers at the top of their draft board. That's in part due to the former's refusal to work out either at the scouting combine or his pro day, and the latter's impressive outing at his Pro Day.

But as much as Nabers' stock has soared during the draft process, Harrison still has a strong chance to hear his name called first. If he does, it would increase the Jaguars' chances of landing Nabers. That said, they wouldn't have a clear path to him.

Jacksonville currently holds the 17th overall selection, and he will be long gone by then. That's why they'll need to move into the top 10 to pick the 2021 Freshman All-SEC.

Working in their favor is that the Jags have a potential trade partner in the Chicago Bears, who hold the No. 9 pick. To move up all the way from No. 17, Jacksonville will need to give up second-rounder and a late-round selection. Also, Nabers must be available. Otherwise, it wouldn't make sense to move up.

Shipley suggests the Jaguars trade picks 17 (their own first), 48 and a sixth-rounder in 2025. However, they also have two fourth-round selections this year. Instead of the sixth, they could give one of their fourth-rounders. Either way, trading up is doable if the team's brass is serious about taking Nabers.

Why trading for Malik Nabers makes sense for the Jaguars

The Jaguars have one pick in each of the first three rounds of the draft. That's more than enough to round out the roster. But if they believe Malik Nabers is their guy, they shouldn't hesitate to give up their second-rounder. Simply put, if he's the player they think he is, it will be worth it. Moreover, it may be the remaining couse of action to bolster their wide receiver corps.

Tee Higgins and Brandon Aiyuk seemed like trade candidates in the months preceeding the draft. However, it looks like both of them will remain with the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Francisco 49ers, respectively. That leaves the draft as the only source to get help at receiver.

If the Jaguars stay put at No. 17, they could have a shot at taking either Adonai Mitchell or Malik Brian Thomas Jr. but if they believe the gap between them and Nabers is too wide, they should then give the Chicago Bears a call.

The bottom line is that the Jaguars should trade up for Malik Nabers if they think his playmaking prowess will carry over into the NFL. If they're right, he could end up being the cherry on top of an offense already loaded with weapons.

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