Former NFL Player Praises Draft Prospect Puka Nacua’s Strength, Versatility

Apr 17, 2023, 2:43 PM | Updated: Apr 24, 2023, 3:40 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Former NFL player and current KSL Sports Live analyst Stevenson Sylvester broke down the film of 2023 NFL Draft prospect and former Orem High and BYU wide receiver Puka Nacua.

Sylvester, who played in the league from 2010-14, discussed Nacua’s potential as an NFL player and his fit in the professional game during KSL Sports Live on Sunday, April 16.

During his conversation with Sam Farnsworth, the former NFL defender said teams could use Nacua “all over the field” and in particular as a slot receiver.

“He’s extremely strong and goes after contested balls time and time again,” Sylvester said of Nacua. “You know he’s gonna come down with it. That’s why he can work the middle of the field.”


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Sylvester highlighted Nacua’s hands, intelligence, versatility, and ability to gain yards after catching the football.

“He gets in the open field and he’s blazing by people,” the analyst said. “He’s getting away from them and he’s getting in the end zone.”

Farnsworth and Sylvester discussed San Francisco 49ers star Deebo Samuel as a “similar type of player” that Nacua could potentially be at the next level.

For more on Sylvester’s breakdown of Nacua, see the video above.

About Puka Nacua

Before his college career, the Provo, Utah native played high school football at Orem High School. He finished his Tigers career with multiple state records.

Nacua helped the Tigers win back-to-back 4A state titles in 2017 and 2018.

After high school, the receiver attended the University of Washington and played a couple of seasons for the Huskies.

During his two years in Seattle, Nacua had 16 catches for 319 yards and three touchdowns.

After the 2020 season, Nacua returned home to Provo and transferred to BYU. He immediately became a star for the Cougars.

RELATED: BYU Football Goes Into Transfer Portal Lands WR Brothers Puka, Samson Nacua

In 2021, Nacua hauled in 43 receptions for 805 yards and six touchdowns. Despite battling injuries last season, Nacua recorded 48 catches for 625 yards and five touchdowns in 2022. He also ran for 209 yards and five touchdowns in his final season at BYU.

Nacua finished his BYU career with a total of 91 catches for 1,430 yards and 11 touchdowns as a receiver. He added 39 carries for 357 yards and five touchdowns with his legs.

He declared for the NFL Draft in December 2022.

Nacua is projected as a Day 3 pick in our most recent mock draft roundup.

Puka Nacua at BYU’s Pro Day

Height: 6012 (6’1 2/8)

Weight: 206

Hand: 9 3/8″

Arm: 31 7/8″

Wing: 75 3/8″

40-Yard Dash: 4.55 (Pro Day)

Bench Press: 15

Vertical Jump: 33”

Broad Jump: 10’1″

3-Cone Drill: 7.30

20-Yard Shuttle: 4.36

RELATED: Local Players Impress At 2023 NFL Scouting Combine

2023 NFL Draft

The 2023 NFL Draft is scheduled to take place at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri from April 27-29.

Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com and co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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Former NFL Player Praises Draft Prospect Puka Nacua’s Strength, Versatility