Rams News: Puka Nacua Named Finalist For AP Offensive Rookie Of The Year
Puka Nacua, Rams
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams rookie fifth-round pick Puka Nacua was named a finalist for the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award. The other finalists are Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud, Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson and tight end Sam LaPorta and running back Jahmyr Gibbs, both of the Detroit Lions.

Nacua turned in arguably the best rookie season for a wide receiver in NFL history. He broke the rookie records for receptions with 105 and yards with 1,486, ranking fourth in the league, trailing only Tyreek Hill, CeeDee Lamb and Amon-Ra St. Brown. For his efforts, Nacua was named to the AP All-Pro Second Team.

The emergence of Nacua was massive for the Rams offense, which was without star Cooper Kupp to begin the season. Nacua stepped up in a big way with 119 yards or better in three of the first four games of the year, including a 163 yard day and the game-winning 22-yard touchdown in overtime against the Indianapolis Colts, the first touchdown catch of his career.

Nacua continued come up big down the stretch of the season with the Rams fighting for a postseason berth. He had nine catches for 164 yards and a touchdown in a win over the New Orleans Saints and followed that with five catches for 118 yards against the New York Giants. But he saved his best performance for the biggest stage.

In the Rams’ playoff game on the road against the Detroit Lions, Nacua was unstoppable. He finished with nine catches for a season-high 181 yards and a touchdown in the Rams’ 24-23 loss in Detroit. Even though the team came up just short, Nacua put the world on notice that he is someone to watch moving forward.

That being said, Nacua faces some stiff competition to bring home the Offensive Rookie of the Year award, namely in the form of Stroud. The Texans rookie is the favorite to win the award after throwing for 4,108 yards and 23 touchdowns with just five interceptions and leading Houston to win the AFC South division title and a playoff win.

Robinson was electric for the Falcons totaling 1,463 yards from scrimmage and eight combined touchdowns while looking every bit like the dynamic player most expected him to be.

LaPorta immediately established himself as one of the best tight ends in the NFL. His 86 receptions ranked fourth among all tight ends and his 889 yards were fifth and his 10 touchdowns were the most at his position. Meanwhile, his teammate on the Lions, Gibbs totaled 1,261 yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns.

It was certainly a loaded rookie class, but Nacua established himself as a mainstay for the Rams and is more than deserving of bringing home the award.

Rams’ Kobie Turner named finalist for AP Defensive Rookie of the Year

Puka Nacua isn’t the only Rams rookie up for an award as defensive tackle Kobie Turner was named a finalist for the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award as well.

The third-round pick led all rookies in sacks and was an absolute force next to Aaron Donald on the Rams’ defensive line.