LA Rams have used motion and bunches to Unleash the Kraken: Rookie WR Puka Nacua

Motion and bunch formations have helped the LA Rams turn rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua into a record-breaking playmaker.

Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers
Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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Let's talk about LA Rams rookie WR Puka Nacua. Why, you ask? He is the All-Time NFL Rookie Receiving Record Holder for receptions and receiving yards. All-Time record holder may not sink in at first reading, but let me assure you, that means that he is the best of the best, of the best.

And to add even more unbelievability to his achievements, he was the 177th player selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. That means that he is a young man who had to wait to hear his name being called until mid-way on Day 3, a time when rookie prospects are frantically praying to hear their names being called out by any NFL team, let alone starting on an NFL team roster.

So saying that Rams rookie Puka Nacua is a bit of an NFL anomaly, like a unicorn, is really an understatement.

Nacua was destined for an NFL spotlight

Puka Nacua didn't break the rookie records for receptions and receiving yards by accident. It took an emphasis on motion and bunch sets for the LA Rams to unleash the wide receiver on unsuspecting NFL defenses.

Keeping Nacua on the move is making defenses obvious pre-snap. Regular motion is also helping the first-year pass-catcher exploit holes in zone coverage shells flooded by bunches of receivers.

It's a far cry from the vertical shots off of play action that used to define this pass attack. Rams' head coach Sean McVay and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur have also used the motion plan to add layers to a transformed running game.

Nacua has been the key to the schematic reshuffle. His ability to win on in-breaking routes and amass yards after the catch have redefined how the Rams attack defenses through the air.

Those are key skills, but Nacua's most important attribute is his mobility. Specifically, being on the move before the ball is snapped.