Puka Nacua 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- Transfer from Washington Huskies program
- 2018 Utah Gatorade Player of the Year
- Brothers Isaiah, Kai, and Samson all played at BYU
- Scheme tendencies: Power run scheme with high volume of PA half-roll outs.
- 2022 projected role: Starting perimeter WR
Pros: This dude can ball. Puka Nacua is a well-built perimeter wide receiver with the ball skills and physicality to win down the field with consistency. Nacua has a high level of bounce to his frame as well and went vertical to attack several targets above the rim throughout the season. I’m impressed with how he pairs his vertical receiving skill set with complementary pieces of the position as well—he is super physical both as a short target with YAC opportunities and as a blocker on the boundary. He blocks his ass off, showing urgency and strong hand punch to dislodge and reset repeatedly to gain ground on the outside and soften edges. Nacua is a relentless player who has yet to develop into a high-volume target but averaged more than 19 yards per reception as a junior—his effort never waning despite selective targets in stretches of play. He had some of his biggest games against the biggest competition too, exploding for production against both Baylor and Virginia last season (275 yards and two scores in those games combined). The floor for Nacua as a player is a special teams demon with his size and physicality, but I think there’s a skill set here to be fully fleshed out that would allow him to star as a receiver too.
Cons: We are going to need to see him take on a more nuanced route tree and a more developed role in order to see him fulfill his potential. I do think Puka Nacua is someone who has the movement skills to run most routes but he is more linear explosive and physically competitive than he is agile—the depths of which those limitations lie is difficult to gauge as is when you watch him run routes. Additionally, I didn’t see him play against much press coverage in the games studied last year. How well can he get off the line against jam? He did get some manufactured touches throughout the season as he integrated himself into the offense too, so the 2022 campaign is going to be big to showcase how many tools he has in his bag. With several returning targets (Gunner Romney and Keanu Hill) back as well, his role may or may not expand to the degree I think it is capable of.
Puka Nacua NFL Draft Scouting Report by Kyle Crabbs