Puka Nacua, WR
School: BYU | Conference: Independent
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6’2” / 201 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Rounds 5-7
Player Comp: Discount Deebo Samuel
Nacua started off his college career at the University of Washington, spending 2019 and 2020 in Seattle. However, it wasn’t until he transferred to BYU, before his junior season, that he really broke out.
In both 2021 and 2022, Nacua led the Cougars in receiving yards, even with some injuries in 2022, but he was far more than just a wide receiver. He was really an all-purpose offensive weapon for BYU, putting up hundreds of yards on the ground in addition to being a serious receiving threat.
Nacua has two brothers, Kai, a safety for the Jets, and Samson, who played for the Colts, with pro experience as well. Puka is described as a “high ceiling starter” who is a physical wide receiver with room for growth that would thrive in an offense that could find creative ways to get the ball in his hands.
- Has high end yards after the catch (YAC) skills.
- Solid blocker.
- Can be deployed effectively in the run and pass game.
- Good ball tracking ability
- Unpolished route runner.
- Not a top end speedster.
- Could struggle with press coverage.
Let’s See His Work
Puka Nacua has been a breakout star at Senior Bowl practices thus far.— Daily Universe Sports (@DailyUnivSports) February 1, 2023
Where do you think his draft stock is at now? pic.twitter.com/Bl7yfqmVPT
Puka Nacua Film Study— QuackFu (@QuackFu_) March 17, 2023
Games watched: Baylor ’21, Boise St ’22
Puka is not flashy. He doesn’t win with speed or fancy releases or ankle-breaking double moves. But instead, he wins with a great understanding of leverage, spacing, and body placement#NFLDraft #filmstudy pic.twitter.com/FC2Ieil0Kk
A Puka Nacua tweet.— Derek Brown (@DBro_FFB) March 26, 2023
Yes. He is that damn good. https://t.co/aahvaDmQxl
How He Would Fit
Washington’s wide receiver room is already one of its deepest position groups, but there’s always opportunity for improvement, particularly at the bottom of the roster. Adding Nacua would provide immediate competition for another BYU product, Dax Milne, or an opportunity to fill the spot left open by the departure of Cam Sims.
Though I wouldn’t expect it out of the gate, Nacua’s ability to be a threat both through the air and on the ground could set the stage for him to eventually replace Curtis Samuel, if he leaves in free agency after the 2023 season.
Nacua projects as an early special teams ace - on account of his physicality - with a potential upside that could include being a key offensive contributor eventually. This high effort, high character baller could be a great culture fit for Rivera, and an excellent schematic fit for Washington’s new offensive coordinator.
Where would you be comfortable drafting Puka Nacua?
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