The Los Angeles Rams have another team to thank for their good fortune in drafting wide receiver Puka Nacua. The Los Angeles Chargers. Recently, the Chargers waived Sebastian Joseph-Day.
On the surface, it appears to be a regular run-of-the-mill NFL transaction. But Joseph-Day’s name will forever be linked to Los Angeles, and it isn’t in the Chargers’ favor.
I can’t believe I missed this when it happened.
When the Chargers signed Sebastian Joseph-Day to an $8M APY contract that they terminated via this tweet, it created a 5th round 2023 compensatory pick for their intrastadium rival in the Rams.
— Nick Korte (@nickkorte) December 24, 2023
Joseph-Day signed with the Chargers on a $8 million contract. The move created a fifth-round 2023 compensatory pick for the Rams. Funny enough, the Rams used that pick to draft Nacua, who has been one of the best rookies in the NFL this season. That has to hurt for the Rams’ intrastadium rival.
How good is Nacua?
The answer: Really good. Currently, Nacua sits fourth in the NFL in receiving yards (1,327). He is also in the top 10 in receptions (96) with eight.
He has quickly formed a synergy with Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, who is enjoying a resurgent season with the re-tooled offensive weapons around him and an improved run game.
Add yet another achievement for the rookie sensation that is Los Angeles Rams receiver Puka Nacua. Nacua, a fifth-round pick out of BYU, continued his outstanding rookie campaign with another great game against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, earning him the first NFC Offensive Player of the Week award of his young career.
Nacua put on quite the show under the bright lights, catching nine passes for a season-high 164 yards (beating his previous best by one) and the game’s opening touchdown.
As a little cherry on top, he added another 16 yards on two rushes, with one of those carries resulting in an all-important first down on L.A.’s final drive.
PUKA NACUA IS TOO GOOD
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) December 22, 2023
While those plays were extremely important, Nacua’s biggest highlight of the night came on a completely different one. On the first play of the second half, the Las Vegas-native made a diving catch to set the Rams up in Saints territory with a 41-yard gain.
With another great performance under his belt, Nacua is inching closer to some notable rookie records. He passed Saints star Michael Thomas for the third-most receptions by a rookie, now up to 96.
And he’s closing in on the rookie record of 104, set by Miami Dolphins star Jaylen Waddle in 2021. Thursday’s game also marked Nacua’s sixth with over 100 receiving yards, and his third with over 150.
Nacua is the second Ram to win NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors this season, alongside running back Kyren Williams who won it in Week 12. Punter Ethan Evans also won NFC Special Teams Player of the Week in Week 11.