CB Gabe Jeudy: "He's (Puka Nacua's) legit." So who has Nacua-potential in this draft?

The LA Rams found a winning lottery ticket on Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft. Can the team repeat that success in 2024? Let's revisit Puka Nacua's impact, and then pivot to this draft class to examine if another gold nugget is hiding in the rookie silt of this rookie class.

13th Annual NFL Honors - Arrivals, Puka Nacua
13th Annual NFL Honors - Arrivals, Puka Nacua / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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An entertaining tale: 'Nacus is legit'

I unashamedly admit that I did not see the value inherent in Brigham Young University WR Puka Nacua leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft. But once he was selected by the team, his fit was obvious. That was made crystal clear by Sports Illustrated writer Gilberto Manzano in this training camp article:

"The rookie who caught my eye: The Rams might have one of the biggest steals of the 2023 draft with fifth-round pick Puka Nacua.

Sure, that might be premature, but the 6-foot-2 Nacua has already received plenty of snaps with the first-team offense, and that was before Kupp got injured. He’s a strong candidate to be the third starting wideout, and it was easy to see why with the handful of plays he made Sunday with Stafford throwing in his direction."

S.I writer Gilberto Manzano

But now that we have a season in our rearview mirror, we can look for more breadcrumbs as new bits of evidence that pointed to Nacua's potential in his first NFL season. One bit of data that should have pointed to his upside is the fact that his 20.06 mph speed in the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine gauntlet drill was the best of any receiver.

But there are more bits of information seeing the light of day now as well. Here is a fun story from Tennessee Volunteer cornerback Gabe Jeudy-Lally, a 2024 rookie prospect who played for Brigham Young University in 2022. In his interview on The Sick Podcast with Draft Vogel (a former contributor on Ramblin Fan), Gabe Jeudy-Lally shared that he was tasked with covering Puka Nacua in practice.

So what did he think about Nacua in practice?

"I did play with (WR) Puka Nacua. That dude is legit"

DB Gabe Jeudy-Lally

Jeudy-Lally is a 6-foot-1 180-pound cornerback who was not invited to the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. But that does not mean that he will not hear his name in the upcoming draft. Even if he fails to be drafted, he is the right size to be a priority free agent signing after the draft concludes.

So, who might be a player who can make a similar impact from Day 3 in 2024? Let's take a look: