Competitive Malik Nabers Wants to Get Up to Speed Quickly for Giants

Nabers is hoping to hit the ground running for the New York Giants
WR Malik Nabers
WR Malik Nabers / Chris Pedota, / USA
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New York Giants first-round pick Malik Nabers, who prides himself on being a competitor, wants to do everything.

Receivers coach Mike Groh learned that this weekend when he told the rookie that he wouldn't be participating in everything they were doing with the drill.

"I (asked) him why,” Nabers said after that first practice. “That competitiveness in me is always going to show.”

For those wondering, no, that wasn't a case of a rookie challenging a coach, but rather one of a rookie looking to do everything possible so that when he takes the field with the rest of the team, he's ready to hit the ground running.

In other words, it's all part of Nabers' plan to help his new team.

"The level that I see myself playing, you know, as a player and as a competitive person, I'm always going to want to go fast," Nabers said. 

"(Head) Coach (Brian) Daboll tells me he knows the type of player you are, and you're going to want to take in all the information at once.

With this offense, you’ve got to slow it down and take it step by step. For you to be where you want to be, you’ve got to know what you’ve got to do. For me to play at 100 miles per hour, I still have to know what I've got to do." 

What he's got to do, or at least what the Giants hope he'll do, is infuse some explosiveness into an offense that ranked dead last in explosive plays last year with 28. 


Nabers certainly showed some promise in that role, taking those passes that did come his way during the midfield camp and bursting upfield with a little bit of a weave, perhaps simulating how he might avoid traffic from defenders looking to stop him.

In the first of the two practices, Nabers, who has a 50 percent career contested catch rate, just shy of former Washington Huskies receiver Rome Odunze's career 52.7 percent contested catch rate, also made a magnificent over-the-shoulder reception of an overthrown ball, landing gracefully on his feet before turning up the field.

"Obviously, we picked him really high, so there’s a lot of qualities about him that you can hopefully project him taking a good step here in this league," Daboll said, revealing that they are hoping Nabers can give them quality snaps both as an inside and outside receiver. 

"But there's a lot to learn. He's athletic. He's quick. He's explosive. He has very good hands. He's got good awareness. He's got the flexibility to play inside and outside. Now it's our job, and it's his job here to go ahead and start picking it up. There's a lot to learn." 

The Giants need Nabers to learn what he has to do as quickly as possible, as they're counting on him to be a big part of this offense. 

Patricia Traina


Patricia Traina has covered the New York Giants for over three decades for various media outlets. She is the host of the Locked On Giants podcast and the author of "The Big 50: New York Giants: The Men and Moments that Made the New York Giants" (Triumph Books, September 2020). View Patricia's full bio.