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Puka Nacua: There’s still so much left on the table for me in Year Two

Puka Nacua was not on too many radars at this time last year, but it didn’t take long for the Rams fifth-round pick to vault himself into the upper echelon of receivers in the NFL.

Nacua got a golden opportunity to make an early impact with Cooper Kupp sidelined and he took full advantage of it by posting 25 catches over his first two games. He went on to catch 105 passes for 1,486 yards and six touchdowns for the whole season and capped the year with nine catches for 181 yards and a score in the team’s playoff loss to the Lions.

That sets a high bar heading into Year Two, but Nacua sees plenty of room on the other side of it. He said on Monday that he doesn’t “think I’m close to reaching” the standard that Kupp has set for Rams receivers and that an offseason spent training with his teammate has shown him how much more he can do.

“It made it fun, because I know that there’s more to grab,” Nacua said, via the team’s website. “Last year was so much fun and I learned a lot, but there’s still so much left on the table, especially — Coop is the mastermind of running routes. He was very open and honest with me in where I can improve, so it was a huge blessing.”

The prospect of having Matthew Stafford throwing to a healthy Kupp and an improved Nacua is a daunting one to opposing defenses and a pleasant one for a Rams team hoping to stay near the top of the NFC in their first season without Aaron Donald.