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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Can anyone match Nacua's NFL impact in the 2024 NFL Draft?

Being an elite NFL player in a rookie season does afford that player some perks. For starters, his opportunity to get offensive snaps is a given. Better still, he is no longer tasked with getting the attention of the coaching staff, trying to make a good impression, or even fighting his teammates for reps in OTAs or training camp.

But Nacua is no longer an offensive weapon who must prove his value to starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, or to HC Sean McVay, that means that he is not only going to get his share of targets in this offense, but the playbook will be written in such a way to optimize his offensive impact. Now, a new rookie must try to repeat that eyebrow-raising jaw-dropping impact in the Rams 2024 Training camp, and here are some who I believe have the potential to do exactly that

Let's be Cavalier about it

Former Virginia Cavaliers WR Malik Washington is a promising receiver option for the LA Rams in the 2024 NFL Draft. While his 5-foot-8 191-pound size does not scream tough physical wide receiver, he has many of the attributes that the Rams seek to add to the wide receiver position. For starters, he is a five-year NCAA college football player who is entering the 2024 NFL Draft at 23 years of age. He has been very productive in college, putting up over 1400 yards with 110 catches and nine touchdowns in 2023.

And he has experience as a talented kickoff returner, returning 14 kicks for 273 yards, for an average of 19.5 yards per return.

Washington possesses a very high football iQ, has great instincts at finding soft spots in zone coverages, exhibits a great route tree, has almost limitless passion for football, is incredibly coachable, often working hard to continue to improve his game. He often explodes for yards after the catch, an attribute that the team will love to put to the test.

Due to his size limitations, he will be less effective at blocking. He may also struggle to get out of the gate against bigger and more physical defensive backs. But he would be a great understudy to WR Tutu Atwell, and can immediately contribute as a punt/kickoff returner.

Projection: Late Round 3