The LA Rams may not have set out in the 2023 NFL Draft to find their next All-Pro NFL wide receiver, but it appears that they have done so anyway. And the thing is, he was selected as the 177th selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, all the way at the end of Round 5.
Is this an opportunity that opened for Nacua based on random chance? Well, you could make that argument, as Nacua's opportunity to perform in the LA Rams offense was solely dependant upon the fact that veteran All-Pro WR Cooper Kupp was unable to play for the Rams in the first four games of the season, due to a nagging injury.
By the time Kupp returned to the Rams lineup, Nacua had already piled up 39 catches in 52 targets over four games for 501 yards and one touchdown. After that stretch, the Rams were convinced that Nacua would remain in the Rams lineup.
It's fortunate for both Puka Nacua and the LA Rams that he was given a rare chance to showcase his stuff this season. The Rams have historically hesitated to afford offensive snaps to rookie wide receivers, and now we see why. Apparently the threshold for playing as a rookie wide receiver in the LA Rams offense is that player must be the best rookie receiver of all time.
And Puka Nacua certainly is:
The record setting performance for Puka Nacua is in the record books, and it's a good thing that it is. The Rams game plan was clearly focused on getting the football to Nacua to break the records
The LA Rams are not out of the game. The Rams trail the San Francisco 49er by just one touchdown, and the Rams have the football at fourth-down and one yard to go at the 49ers 43-yard line. Stay tuned, asthere is one quarter of football to play in this one.
Puka Nacua not only set the All-Time NFL Rookie Receiving Records for receptions and yards, but he did so and stayed healthy in the process.