Puka Nacua vs Cooper Kupp: Who Will Be LOS Angeles Rams WR1 In 2024?

Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Puka Nacua and Cooper Kupp are undoubtedly the biggest stars on the Los Angeles Rams outside of quarterback Matthew Stafford. However, while 2023 was a pleasant surprise at the position for Rams fans, it presents some questions in 2024.

Before last season, Cooper Kupp was the unquestioned top wide receiver on the team. That said, last season introduced the world to Puka Nacua. With Kupp heading into an age 31 season coming off a down year and Nacua on the rise, the question becomes if there could be a new leading wide receiver in town.

Currently, ESPN’s depth chart has Kupp as the top receiver with Nacua below him. However, that cannot remain the case forever. Could 2024 see an official change of the guard?

The result lies in Nacua’s hands. Plenty of players in NFL history have had a rookie rise and a sophomore slump. After an entire off-season for defenses to study the young wide receiver, a new onslaught of targeted ideas await Nacua. If the wide receiver can dominate again, that will prove him to be the real deal.

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If that happens, it would be up to an age 31 Kupp to put on his best season since 2021 when he earned nearly 2,000 receiving yards. It might not take Kupp all 2,000 yards to hold off Nacua, but there’s a chance.

If Nacua were to build on his current abilities and emerge faster and stronger in 2024, he could beat his nearly 1,500 yards of production, which would make things doubly difficult for Kupp.

At this point, a number of outcomes are possible between the two in 2024. Kupp could remain healthy and put up 1,500 yards this season. On the other hand, Nacua could earn even more. While it serves as a coin toss as to which player will lead the wide receivers in 2024, Kupp will inevitably take a step back at some point.

In three years, assuming Nacua is hovering around 1,000 yards per season, he is almost guaranteed to have the edge over Kupp.

Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua Combine To Cause Massive Problems For Defenses

Either way, the question about how the two stack up sets up for massive questions for opposing defenses, which could open up the offense even more. With defenses forced to pick their poison between Kupp and Nacua, it offers Matthew Stafford plenty of options to beat defenses with his arm.

In other words, the two wide receivers could play off of each other in a way that elevates both this season. As a bonus, Sean McVay is now aware of the talent he has with Nacua so he can scheme up planned plays created this offseason to feature the wide receiver’s talents.

As a result, there is reason to believe the passing offense could reach some of the best of the Sean McVay era. However, which receiver will lead the charge?