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Puka Nacua not expected to win Offensive Rookie of the Year on Thursday

C.J. Stroud has been winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year awards over Rams’ Puka Nacua

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

In almost any other year, he would be a shoo-in, but Rams rookie Puka Nacua’s first season had “bad timing” to coincide with a breakout quarterback. The NFL Honors ceremony is on Thursday night and C.J. Stroud is expected to win Offensive Rookie of the Year from the A.P. over Puka Nacua, according to KCPR2’s Aaron Wilson. Stroud won the PFWA Writers and Pepsi Fan Rookie of the Year awards over Puka so far.

Nacua set rookie records for receptions (105) and yards (1,486), also scoring six touchdowns and proving himself to be a pretty decent running back too. The fifth round pick out of BYU was a second-team All-Pro.

As good of a rookie as you’ll ever see, regardless of draft round or position, Nacua also set a rookie record with 181 yards in a playoff game. Unfortunately, his time coincided with Stroud’s.

The second overall pick out of Ohio State led the NFL with 273.9 yards per game and a league-low interception rate of 1%, completing 63.9% of his passes with 23 touchdowns, five picks, and a passer rating of 57.4. Stroud also led the Texans to a surprise playoff appearance and a win over the Browns.

It would be interesting to have seen the voting without Stroud’s biggest game, a 470-yard, 5-TD, 39-37. win over the Bucs in November. Without that game, Stroud would not have had a single start all season with more than two touchdowns and the 470 yards was by far his biggest total. Not that he is undeserving, it’s just a very big checkpoint on his resume and “18 touchdowns, 5 interceptions” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

Both should have starring roles in the league for years to come.