Monday, June 17, 2024

Football: Nabers shines at LSU Pro Timing Day

by Russell Hedges
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LSU Athletic Communications

BATON ROUGE – Malik Nabers further enhanced his case as the top wide receiver in the 2024 NFL Draft with a time of 4.35 in the 40-yard dash and a vertical leap of 42-inches as LSU held Pro Timing Day at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility.

In all, 13 Tigers took part in the Pro Timing Day which was held in front of all 32 NFL teams, including six head coaches. Over 150 media were credentialed for the event with NFL Network, ESPN and SEC Network broadcasting portions of the day live. The NFL Network will have a one-hour show dedicated to LSU Pro Timing Day tonight from 7-8.

“We had a lot of national television here – NFL Network, ESPN- getting that type of notoriety for LSU and our football program certainly is very good for your program and how your move forward relative to recruiting,” LSU coach Brian Kelly said. “Our young guys get to see what it’s like, it’s a job interview in many ways and how you need to prepare for that job interview. I think our guys did a great job of preparing for that job interview. 

“Finally, the entire country got a chance to see elite players and what that looks like. LSU has done a great job over the years of developing elite players and you got to see that today.”

Nabers, a unanimous All-America and runner-up for the Biletnikoff Award, dazzled scouts with his performance that also included a leap of 10-feet 9-inches in the broad jump. He did 15 reps on the 225-pound bench press.

Nabers heads into April’s NFL Draft as one of the top two receivers in this year’s class. His results on Wednesday could vault him into a top five pick and the first receiver selected.   

“Physicality and ability to separate from great players, there has to be something you look for,” Kelly said of Nabers. “When you watch film, you see him separate from great players in the SEC. Today you saw a 42-inch vertical and a 4.3 (40-yard dash). This ability to separate on the field is now backed up by the physical prowess you see with a 42-inch vertical and a 4.3 (40-yard dash).

“It validates what you see on film and that it’s backed up by great physical traits. I think what it does more than anything else is that it shows he can separate with the ball in his hands, he can be explosive after the catch. Now it comes down to ‘who is the kind of guy who you want to get the ball in their hands’. I don’t think there’s a better receiver in the country.”

Heisman Trophy quarterback Jayden Daniels went through a 58-play passing script that included Nabers, Brian Thomas, Greg Clayton along with underclassmen in Kyren Lacy and Mason Taylor. Daniels only participated in the position workouts as did Thomas, who ran a 4.33 40 at the NFL Combine earlier this month.

Other highlights in the 40-yard dash for the Tigers include safety Andre Sam with a time of 4.53, linebacker Omar Speights at 4.62, and edge rusher Ovie Oghoufo at 4.65. 

Speights led all players in the bench press with 30 reps, followed by defensive tackle Mekhi Wingo with 28, offensive lineman Charles Turner with 22 and defensive lineman Maason Smith with 21. 

Next up for the Tigers is the NFL Draft, which takes place April 25-27 in Detroit.

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