Rams News: Puka Nacua Believes His Physicality Separates Him From Other Receivers
Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams did well for themselves in the 2023 NFL Draft, trading back several times to ultimately end up with the most selections at 14.

With so many holes on the roster, the Rams split their picks pretty evenly between the offense and defense. They took an interesting flier in the fifth round on BYU receiver Puka Nacua, who recorded 48 catches for 625 yards and five receiving touchdowns as well as 209 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns last season.

Nacua is a big-bodied receiver who is looking forward to using his size and frame to make an impact in Los Angeles, via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:

“I think I’m a bigger receiver,” said Nacua, who measured 6-foot-2 and 201 pounds. “I’m over 200 pounds, I feel like I’ve run as if when I was playing running back. So when I get the ball in my hands, I try not to go out of bounds. If we’re going to meet near the sideline, I’m going to put my shoulder pads down and we’re going to meet right there in the middle. Those are the things that excite me about playing football and I feel like separate me from other receivers. As much as I like catching easy touchdowns and walk-ins and making the fancy juke moves, I love to punish a defender and make the right blocking play. Those are just as fun as scoring touchdowns.”

The rookie’s got an excellent veteran to learn from in Cooper Kupp and admitted he’s been a fan of his since college:

“We’d always watch his tape,” Nacua said. “I’m definitely a fan of watching someone who moves as well as he does. I’m excited to learn from him and everybody in that room, but I think there’s a sense of confidence and preparedness that he comes with on the mental side of the game that allows his physical abilities to thrive for him.”

Players like Nacua should have an opportunity to crack the rotation after Los Angeles traded away Allen Robinson in the offseason. Van Jefferson, Ben Skowronek and Tutu Atwell figure to get the first crack at starter snaps, but Nacua’s versatility as either a receiver or runner makes him an interesting weapon for Sean McVay to utilize.

With training camp still a couple of months away, Nacua will have to wait a bit to make an impression on McVay and the coaching staff.