When it comes to the NFL Hall of Fame, the LA Rams certainly have their share of legendary football heroes enshrined for generations to come. But one of the lesser known facts about the Pro Football Hall of Fame is the fact that is also represents record breaking performances by active players.
So what what records did an LA Rams player break? Was it the number of quarterback pressures by an NFL pass rusher, by an interior defensive lineman, set by LA Rams All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald? Was it some consecutive streak of 100+ yards receiving set by LA Rams All-Pro wide receiver Cooper Kupp? Was it some form of NFL passing record set by the ever-masterful LA Rams veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford?
The truth of the matter is that LA Rams rookie wide receiver, Puka Nacua, has his jersey enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was the eight players selected by the LA Rams in the 2023 NFL Draft, the 177th player selected off the board late in Round 5. So what has he done so far this season? Well, he has already won NFL Rookie of the Week twice. And he is less about proving other teams wrong than proving the LA Rams were right.
But as of five games in the 2023 NFL season, he is quite literally the best rookie wide receiver in the history of the NFL:
While I would love to tout this honor as entirely based on Puka Nacua's raw and unbridled talent, we have to give a nod to the Rams offensive scheme as a contributing factor this season. The LA Rams lost veteran wide receiver Cooper Kupp to injury through the first four games of the 2023 NFL season. It' was that injury that created the opportunity for the Rams rookie receiver to be targeted so often, which allowed him to step up and catch so many passes for the Rams so far this season.
This is another example of how opportunities are so very vital in establishing an NFL rookies career. As fans, we merely judge the results on the football field, and could care less if a player is targeted once or 20 times, as long as that player is productive.
But it does play a huge role in which players flourish, and which players are relegated to limited roles. Hopefully, the Rams will find more opportunities for their 2023 rookie class. Stay tuned . . .