Rookie Of The Year Battle: Puka Nacua Gets All-Pro Nod, CJ Stroud Does Not

Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams fifth-round rookie receiver, Puka Nacua still trails 2023 second overall pick, C.J. Stroud, by a wide margin when it comes to Vegas odds for Offensive Rookie of the Year. But Nacua gets a feather in his cap in the form of an AP 2nd team All-Pro selection. Nacua was one of six wide receivers selected to the two rosters and beat out several high-volume dynamic pass catchers. Stroud lost out to Dak Prescott and Lamar Jackson in All-Pro voting.

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NFL: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
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Understandably, Stroud has gotten plenty of recognition this season and should be one of the front runners for the 2023 Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He was by far the best rookie quarterback this season and was among the top quarterbacks in most statistical categories. His 4109 passing yards and 23 touchdowns are both in the top 10 in the league.

Puka Nacua’s Case For Rookie of the Year

But as exciting as Stroud’s year was, Puka Nacua’s was historic. He broke Bill Groman‘s 63-year rookie receiving record as well as Jaylen Waddle‘s reception record. He had the sixth most receiving yards per game all-time. In terms of other rookies, Nacua blew the competition away and was among the top receivers in the league. Period.

If the award is about honoring the best rookie quarterback in the league Stroud is the obvious choice, but it’s hard not to see why Nacua should be in serious contention for the award.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers
Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports