Former BYU star wide receiver, Puka Nacua, was selected by the LA Rams last Saturday in 5th round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Big play Puka.— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) April 29, 2023
Welcome to LA, @AsapPuka! pic.twitter.com/YgUXukze4p
We connected with Blaine Grisak, a staff writer for Turf Show Times, to talk about Nacua’s future with his new team.
How would you assess the Rams wide receiver depth pre-draft? Were they always looking to add one?
Yeah, I think wide receiver was definitely a need for them coming into the draft. After trading Allen Robinson to the Steelers, they needed to add some depth behind Cooper Kupp. Van Jefferson is in the final year of his contract and TuTu Atwell is still very unproven. I’m actually surprised they waited as long as they did.
Looking back at his time at BYU, what are some things that stick out that you like about Puka Nacua?
From a traits perspective, I think Nacua is a really good fit for the Rams and Sean McVay’s offense. It may be an undrrated part of his game, but I think Nacua does a really good job run-blocking. McVay loves that in his receivers.
He’s also very good after the catch. I think the Rams are going to like his versatility as a player who does anything that’s asked of him. Overall, I see this as a good fit for both team and player.
Speaking of fit, Nacua has experience as both an outside and slot receiver. Where do you see the Rams most utilizing him?
I see him having more of a special teams role as a rookie. However, as he works into the offense, I see the Rams lining him up everywhere.
Kupp will dominate snaps in the slot, putting Nacua primarily outside. However, I would expect the Rams to use Nacua similarly to how they used Robert Woods. He’ll likely play mostly outside, but occasionally do some things from the slot to take advantage of matchups.
Best case scenario, where do you think Nacua could find himself on the Rams’ depth chart come fall?
Best case scenario, he shows a lot as a receiver and someone who can be trusted in the offense. If he does that, I could see him surpassing TuTu Atwell on the depth chart and be their WR4 this fall.
Behind Kupp and Jefferson, there’s a lot of opportunity for someone to come in and make an impact. If he can show that he’s ready and be someone McVay and Stafford can trust, Nacua can definitely find some playing time in the offense.