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Insider expands on how Giants grew comfortable with Malik Nabers

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Shortly after the New York Giants made Malik Nabers the sixth pick of the 2024 NFL Draft, general manager Joe Schoen explained why Nabers being involved in a gun-carrying arrest in February 2023 didn’t prevent the club from choosing the LSU Tigers wide receiver. 

For a piece published Monday, NFL insider Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated acknowledged that “Nabers’ reputation for being high maintenance was a concern for teams” ahead of the draft. However, Breer added that Schoen and Giants head coach Brian Daboll “came to a comfort level pretty quickly” regarding Nabers.

“(Daboll and Schoen) went to dinner with Nabers on the 30 visit,” Breer noted. “Ahead of the LSU pro day, because Daboll and Schoen were at the owners meetings and had to fly in the morning of to see the workout, the Giants sent a couple of staffers to another dinner with him. They met at the combine, and Schoen also saw Nabers play live over Labor Day weekend against Florida State.” 

Interestingly, Breer added that Schoen and Daboll both have experience working with receivers “that could be a little much” behind the scenes. Breer specifically named six-time Pro Bowl selection Brandon Marshall, current Houston Texans star Stefon Diggs and Carolina Panthers legend Steve Smith.

“While there were some headaches with those guys, all three had a fierce competitiveness that, in most cases, would supersede the issues between the lines,” Breer said. “Nabers doesn’t turn 21 until late July, so the hope is he’ll continue to mature and grow into someone who can handle being a star in New York. And as that happens, the Giants are pretty confident the stuff you can’t teach will continue to show up.”

Questions about the future of quarterback Daniel Jones have hovered over the Giants since this past fall, meaning Daboll and Schoen took a risk in drafting Nabers instead of Washington signal-caller Michael Penix Jr., Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy or Bo Nix of the Oregon. 

If Daboll and Schoen are wrong about Nabers maturing and growing coming off a relatively harmless Offensive Rookie of the Year Award bet gone wrong, Giants co-owner John Mara could blow things up as soon as January 2025. 

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