When it comes to the LA Rams future, I don't think that current events could paint a brighter picture for the team than the 2023 NFL season is doing right now. The LA Rams roster boasts 14 rookies from the 2023 NFL Draft, a huge rookie class that is double what most teams select in any given draft. The most intriguing aspect of the 2023 NFL Draft is that the Rams made all 14 selections without a pick in Round 1.
Of course, when you nail a pick in Round 5 like the LA Rams did by selecting BYU wide receiver Puka Nacua with the 177th overall pick, you tend to overlook that first round pick shortcoming. Why do I say that? Puka Nacua is a rookie receiver in the NFL, and yet he is the third ranked receiver in the NFL after seven games.
Thankfully, I am not the only one noticing. Nacua has earned his third NFL Rookie of the Week in just seven games. That is an unprecedented achievement and one that may be repeated again and again for the young receiver all season.
Once, Twice, Three times NFL ROY
He's done it again:
The truth of the matter is that the LA Rams offense is not exactly rookie-friendly. Let me explain, the Rams' strategy is a bit of a Catch-22. That is, the Rams need to see evidence from a rookie to give them playing time. Yet that is next to impossible because the Rams tend to stick with veterans for meaningful roles on game day. Nacua is the ideal bookend for Rams veteran WR Cooper Kupp.
Case in point, despite the fact that the LA Rams have used five different running backs in their offense this season, rookie RB Zach Evans has not been given a green light to handle the workload. In many regards, putting up eye-popping numbers on game day is the lesser achievement. The very fact that Nacua continues to start after the return of veteran WR Cooper Kupp is likely the more difficult achievement
Nacua has 752 yards and two touchdowns in just seven games. If his performance stays at his current pace, he will break 1800 receiving yards in his rookie season. Just for comparison purposes, All-Pro WR Cooper Kupp's career high is 1,947 receiving yards.
While Puka Nacua is only a rookie, the Rams get an incredibly team-friendly contract for the offensive star through the 2026 NFL season. While Nacua's next contract will almost certainly be quite lucrative, the Rams ability to play him for the immediate future at such an affordable price will allow the team to add other quality players to the Rams roster in the meantime.