How does BYU wide receiver Puka Nacua stack up against the rest of the receiver class in the 2023 NFL Draft? We dive in with this scouting report.
Name: Puka Nacua
Position: Wide Receiver
School: Brigham Young University (BYU)
Weight: 201 pounds
Puka Nacua, WR, BYU, 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report.
Puka Nacua started his football career at Orem High School in Utah. He was an ESPN 4-star recruit. After high school, Puka attended Washington. After his Sophomore year, Puka transferred to BYU to follow in his older brother’s footsteps.
In his two seasons at BYU, Puka tallied 91 receptions for 1,430 yards and 11 TDs, in 21 total games. Puka also had 37 rushes for 357 yards and five TDs. In 2022 Puka battled an ankle injury limiting him to just nine games.
You wouldn’t expect it, but Puka Nacua is one of the premier deep threats of this draft class. He thrives in traffic and is determined to pull in every ball in his vicinity. He has natural hands and has essentially no drops on his tape. Puka has exceptional elusiveness and seems to make defenders miss tackles with ease.
Watching Puka tip-toe down the sideline is a thing of beauty. His phenomenal body control allowed BYU to use him in a variety of ways. Whether that be on sweeps, screens, or streaking down the sideline. Puka also thrives on middle cross routes, beating defenders with his arms rather than his speed.
Most importantly, Puka is a fiery competitor. He genuinely enjoys embarrassing the guy trying to cover him. Teaching competitiveness and passion is tough, and Puka certainly has it.
The biggest concern with Puka is his ability to create separation. Puka lacks the elite speed and acceleration needed to create consistent separation in the NFL. Puka also runs his routes upright, making him easy to redirect.
Puka will have trouble breaking the press at the line of scrimmage against stronger defensive backs. On deep balls, Puka tends to catch the ball in his body rather than extending his arms to make the reception. He will sometimes lose the ball in the air on hanging deep balls.
Puka Nacua is one of my favorite late-round WRs in this draft class. It will be interesting to see how NFL scouts value him. I’ve seen as high as a third-round grade and as low as an undrafted prospect. Whoever does select Puka Nacua will get a feisty, competitive, utility man ready to prove all his doubters wrong.