Rams rookie WR sets NFL record filling in for Cooper Kupp

With Los Angeles Rams star wideout Cooper Kupp starting the season on IR and set to miss at least the first four games of the season, other Rams wideouts will have to fill the void.

One of the players who stepped up in a major way during the team’s 30-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks was rookie WR Puka Nacua. 

The fifth-round wideout had an incredible performance, one in which he didn’t look like a rookie. Nacua had 10 receptions for 119 yards on 15 targets. 

“He was in the right spot at the right time,” Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford said about Nacua’s performance. “His ability to catch and run afterwards was on display. We knew that was gonna be there because he’s a big, physical kid that understands the game.”

Rams head coach Sean McVay sees a player in Nacua who’s smarter than the average rookie. 

“Puka Nacua has come in, and he’s as mature a rookie as I’ve ever been around,” McVay said. “He is a physical, tough, strong player. He’s got a great way about himself.”

Nacua’s staggering totals in Week 1 set records and were among the best ever for a rookie debut at wideout. His 15 targets are the most ever for a rookie in Week 1, surpassing three-time Pro Bowler Anquan Boldin’s mark of 14. His 119 receiving yards were the most in a rookie debut in Rams history, and he’s just the second player drafted in the fifth round or later with 100+ receiving yards in his NFL debut.

Nacua called the victory and his own personal day “football heaven” and “a dream come true.”

Nacua’s story is certainly a great one. Thrust into the lineup due to Kupp’s injury, he not only is making the most of his opportunity, but he could also be a major asset for a Rams team looking to rebound after a 5-12 season in 2022.

While not a top prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft, Nacua had plenty of good college tape for a team like the Rams to take a chance on him in the fifth round to develop into a Kupp-type role in its offense. Nacua has toughness to his game, is a good route runner and is shifty in the open field. He totaled 1,430 yards on 91 receptions with 11 receiving touchdowns in two years at BYU. 

While Sunday’s debut performance could wind up being the best of Nacua’s career, there’s an even greater chance he develops into a player who is dangerous for years to come. Sean McVay and the Rams may have found themselves a gem and a keeper. 


Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Yours Headline is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a Comment