Rams News: Puka Nacua Breaks NFL Rookie Reception & Receiving Yards Records

Originally published by RamsNewswire.com

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua capped off his historic rookie season in Week 18 against the San Francisco 49ers by breaking both the NFL’s rookie reception and rookie receiving yards records.

Going into Week 18, Nacua had 101 receptions for 1,445 receiving yards along with five touchdowns on the season. Nacua was just four receptions away from breaking Jaylen Waddle’s NFL rookie record for receptions and 29 yards away from breaking Bill Groman’s NFL rookie record for receiving yards.

Considering the Rams had already clinched a postseason berth, they rested most of their starters against the 49ers in order to rest up for next week. Knowing how important these records were to Nacua though, McVay decided to play him to give him a chance and he did so easily with four receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown.

He broke both records early in the third quarter when he caught two passes. Nacua was rightfully sent to the bench after capping off his record-breaking season with 105 receptions for 1,486 yards and six touchdowns.

THERE IT IS! THE RECEIVING YARDS ROOKIE RECORD!

@NFLonFOX | @ASAPpuka pic.twitter.com/uYmZRNvuUO

— x – Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 7, 2024

AND THE ROOKIE RECEPTIONS RECORD!

@NFLonFOX | @ASAPpuka pic.twitter.com/Gw9g7a96UK

— x – Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 7, 2024

Puka with his mom after breaking both records.

@NFLonFOX | @ASAPpuka pic.twitter.com/Z31j8FSTxd

— x – Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 7, 2024

As a former fifth-round pick out of BYU, no one could have predicted this type of season from Nacua.

He burst onto the scene immediately in Week 1 when Cooper Kupp was out with injury and has maintained his greatness throughout the season. Nacua’s name will now forever be in the record books as the best rookie receiver in NFL history, an awesome accomplishment with still his whole career in front of him.

Puka Nacua would get Sean McVay’s vote for Offensive Rookie of the Year

With Nacua continuing to set records weekly, and now capping the season off with the biggest rookie records for a receiver, it will be interesting to see if he gets the consideration he deserves for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud also had an outstanding season and plays a more important position, so he is the current favorite to win the award and likely will.

McVay has watched Nacua up close though and would give him his vote for the award.

“He’s outstanding,” McVay said after Week 16. “I couldn’t be more grateful for the contributions and what a freaking run on the jet sweep, has a bunch of plays through the pass game. You guys have seen it week in and week out.

“You know, you talk about that balance. You can’t have the balance if you don’t have receivers that are willing to dig out support and do some of the things that he does. You see around the league, you know, Stroud has had a great year, but this guy is… he would get my vote. And he’s really special. But the best part about him is he doesn’t worry about those things. He worries about just being a great teammate, continuing to improve his game, and sure love this team. And he’s one of those guys that you really love.”

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