Puka Nacua drafted by Los Angeles Rams in 5th round

There’s a new star heading to Hollywood.

BYU receiver Puka Nacua was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams with the final pick of the NFL draft’s fifth round Saturday, becoming the third former Cougar to hear his name called in this year’s draft.

“Puka has tons of ability and is a playmaker,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said. “He is the hardest worker, especially in practice. You can tell by his energy that practice is the best part of his day. He loves football. He’s the ultimate competitor and has non-stop energy and he’s a great teammate.”

Despite missing four games in 2022, Nacua caught a team-high 48 passes for 625 yards and five touchdowns for the Cougars, adding 209 yards and another five scores on the ground as well.

Drafted with the 177th overall pick, Nacua is the highest selection for a BYU receiver since Austin Collie went in the fourth round to Indianapolis in 2009. Nacua was the 29th receiver taken in the 2023 draft.

Nacua’s 14-reception, 157-yard performance at Boise State on Nov. 5 lifted the Cougars to a season-saving, upset victory over the Broncos, culminating in a game-winning, toe-tapping touchdown grab in the contest’s final moments that will live on highlight reels and within BYU lore for years to come.

Nacua racked up 1,767 total yards and 16 touchdowns over two seasons at BYU, averaging 15.7 yards per reception and 9.7 yards per carry as a potent offensive weapon for the Cougars after transferring to Provo from Washington.

Nacua joins a Rams squad led by All-Pro receiver Cooper Kupp, offering the former Cougar an opportunity to learn from one of the best playmakers at the position and give Matthew Stafford another trusted target.

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