One of the biggest stories in the 2023 NFL season for the Los Angeles Rams is the emergence of wide receiver Puka Nacua as a legitimate weapon downfield. Nacua showed off once again in Week 13, as he led Los Angeles with 105 receiving yards and a touchdown on four receptions and seven targets in a 36-19 win at home over the visiting Cleveland Browns.
Rams' Puka Nacua continues to impress
It wasn't just his raw production that is wowing Rams and football fans in general, but also the way he makes things happen on the field. Take for example one instance in the Browns game in which he was able to display Tyreek Hill-esque speed, as noted by Next Gen Stats.
“Puka Nacua became the 3rd player this season to reach 20+ mph on both a carry & reception in a single game (Tyreek Hill in Week 12, Deebo Samuel in Week 13). Nacua is the first rookie to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards by Week 13 since Justin Jefferson.”
Not only that but Nacua also just became the first rookie in the history of the Rams franchise to collect 1,000 yards in a season.
Selected in the fifth round — 177th overall — by the Rams in the 2023 NFL Draft, Nacua was not expected to be an immediate significant contributor to Los Angeles's offense, but he took advantage of the absence of Kupp in the early goings of the season and shined. He had at least 119 receiving yards in three of his first four games in the NFL, including a 147-yard effort in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers back in Week 2.