Originally published by RamsNewswire.com
The Los Angeles Rams are seeing a historic rookie season from wide receiver Puka Nacua, who they selected in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft out of BYU.
No one could have expected Nacua to make this big of an impact, but he burst onto the scene immediately in Week 1 and has been one of the best receivers in the league ever since.
Going into Week 17’s contest against the New York Giants, Nacua had already been named the NFL’s Rookie of the Week four times, including in Week 16 against the New Orleans Saints when he was also named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Nacua’s historic rookie campaign continued in Week 17 against the Giants as he had an 80-yard reception from Matthew Stafford and finished with five receptions for 118 yards.
With one game to play, Nacua is on the verge of setting both the NFL rookie reception and receiving yards records. Nacua is for 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.
The Rams faced a must-win scenario against the Giants and even had an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot with a win. It wasn’t easy, but thanks the Nacua’s contributions, the Rams were able to hang on for the big victory to improve to 9-7 with one regular season game to go.
L.A. clinched a postseason berth with their win, so it will be interesting to see if Nacua even plays in Week 18 against the San Francisco 49ers to set the records or if he gets a week off to rest up for the playoffs.
Puka Nacua would get Sean McVay’s vote for Offensive Rookie of the Year
With Nacua continuing to set records weekly, 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 is also having an outstanding season and plays amore important position, so he is the current favorite to win the award.
Rams head coach Sean 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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