Who is this year’s Puka Nacua?

Who is this year’s Puka Nacua?   Hi, my name is Chad I am a writer here at QBList. You may know me as the Puka Nacua guy for my...

Who is this year’s Puka Nacua?


Hi, my name is Chad I am a writer here at QBList. You may know me as the Puka Nacua guy for my predraft stance that Nacua was the best WR in the class. Or maybe you first heard about me as I spotted the Raheem Mostert monster season early in the preseason. Whichever it was, I thank you for reading my work and hope this article will be yet another home run for those who have followed.

Nacua was a Senior from BYU who many mocks had going undrafted. I felt his skillset would thrive in the right landing spot as a UDFA. Nacua bypassed all of that, landing with the Rams as the final pick of the 5th round. Nacua went on to lead the Rams in every major receiving statistical category, racking up an absurd 105 receptions on 160 targets for 1486 yards and 6 touchdowns. This was good for WR4 overall for the rookie.




But 2023 has come and gone, with Nacua ascending to WR1 status.  Now is the time to look toward 2024 rookie drafts, and finding the next Nacua. For me, there is but one answer this year and it is someone whose profile flashes all the same things that drew me into Nacua.

That person is Devaughn Vele. Vele is a 5th year out of Utah who is strong and smart, with a nose for the ball and determination to finish the play. He is great at making adjustments with the ball in the air.

If you look at his stats you will not see the talent I am representing him to have, as he mustered just 593 yards and 3 TDs in his final season at Utah.  But that looks better when you see that Utes starter Bryson Barnes threw for just 1572 yards and 12 touchdowns. Vele accounted for nearly 1/3rd of the passing game production in this Utes offense that was far from being called a prolific passing attack.



Now, last year when I called out Nacua I did so stating he would be the #1 guy in the class. I mean, I liked Zay Flowers and thought Jordan Addison could be good but inconsistent. But they weren’t the names being touted – Quentin Johnston and Jaxon Smith-Njigba were the two most common names – and Nacua was and is leagues ahead of those guys.

In 2024 that isn’t the case. And while Vele will be a surprise high-end fantasy option, there is just nothing to indicate that Marvin Harrison Jr. isn’t everything we expect out of him. That puts Harrison firmly ahead of Vele. But for those of you who can’t get your hands on Harrison, and like me don’t believe in Malik Nabers’s, talent, Vele will be a very strong option for you in 2024 at a safe cost.

Look for Vele to be a late 2nd or early 3rd-round rookie draft option but be careful. Nacua saw a swift rise late in the draft season after the preseason tape made what was already known obvious, and Vele could do the same as people are actively chasing for the next Nacua now.

Good Luck to everyone in 2024.


Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter) / Photography by Brian Rothmuller/ Icon Sportswire

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