The Los Angeles Rams weren’t expected to be competitive in the 2023 season, but through 13 weeks they find themselves right in the thick of the playoff race.
The Rams are in the hunt for a Wild Card spot and a lot of their success can be credited to their 2023 NFL Draft class. Los Angeles thrust several rookies into starting jobs, but Puka Nacua has far exceeded expectations.
Nacua has been a revelation for the Rams offense as he’s absorbed the playbook and is a trusted target in the passing game. In the team’s recent win against the Cleveland Browns, Nacua broke the franchise rookie record for receiving yards.
The BYU product is having a historic season but even he didn’t see this level of production coming so quickly,
via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:
“No, definitely not,” Nacua said with a laugh this week. “I remember that some of the first things was just trying to make sure I could get our duo blocks when I first got here. So trying to make what (pass game specialist) coach (Jake) Peetz has given me and asking Benny Skow and Coop. So to think that that’s where we are now, it’s been it’s been a long journey, and all the people that have helped me along the way, I’m extremely grateful for.”
Nacua has gotten shoutouts from some of the biggest names in sports and he admitted that it’s still surreal to him:
“It’s still mind blowing to me,” Nacua said. “When I get to come in, and I say good morning to Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp in the quarterback room, and that’s always something sweet. No matter what, if I have to come in for treatment, I try to start my day off with that, because that’s always a good one. I get to say hi to those guys in the morning, like, something’s going right for me. But then, I’m a huge LeBron stan, so stuff like that definitely doesn’t go over my head. Sending that in the group chat, saved in my (phone). If my girlfriend wasn’t my screensaver, that LeBron post would be. But just having a blast, having fun, trying to make sure – my motto has been one day at a time, and I’m still trying to stick true to that because it’s helped me get to where I’m at, so it’s the plan to help get me to where I want to go.”
The young wideout has earned all the praise and accolades he’s received so far and he’s a large reason why Los Angeles’ rebuild won’t be for long.
Already over 1,000 yards, he has a chance to break the NFL rookie receiving record if he continues at his strong pace.