There was a great deal of pressure on the LA Rams front office heading into the 2023 NFL Draft. With a roster that was swept clean, the Rams had to find more than half of their 90-man roster by the time the draft arrived. During the event, the team managed to select 14 rookies. Curiously, they all made the Rams 53-man roster to start the 2023 NFL season.
With so many vacated roster slots, the new Rams rookies not only had to make the roster, but they must now deliver as though they are seasoned NFL veterans. But you won't need to tell Rams rookie WR Puka Nacua that, as he is delivering as though he is the clone of Rams All-Pro wide receiver Cooper Kupp.
No, I'm not kidding. Puka Nacua has been setting NFL records with his hot start in the NFL. Without veteran Cooper Kupp back on the Rams roster for at least the next two weeks, the Rams expect a lot more from Nacua in the month of September 2023.
Nacua is pretty good, no matter how you look at it
Just how good is he? Just check out what he's done in his first two games so far in 2023:
Even after the return of Kupp, it is hard to imagine that Nacua will suddenly fall off the radar to a cameo appearance of one to four targets per game. While that has happened in the past on the Rams offense to receivers who lined up alongside Kupp, none showed as much ability to connect with veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford so quickly and effectively before.
The Rams offense has been a bit streaky in the past. Once Cooper Kupp got hot, the Rams almost had to force themselves to look at other receivers. That overuse may have contributed to the injury that ended Kupp's season prematurely in 2022.
Let's hope that the Rams are able to remove their blinders whenever possible and distribute the football well enough to ensure that Nacua remains healthy throughout the 2023 NFL season. As the season progresses, competition becomes more challenging and the games take on more and more meaning.
Injuries are part of the game. Let's just try to ensure that they are not happening to Puka Nacua in what could be a record-setting rookie season.