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BYU Football: Depth Chart at Wide Receiver with the Nacua Brothers

Where do the Nacua brothers fit into the depth chart at wide receiver?

When we submitted our first 2021 depth chart projection last month, brothers Samson and Puka Nacua had not entered the transfer portal. One month later, both brothers are committed to the Cougars and are likely eligible (Puka awaits one-time transfer exception from the NCAA) for the upcoming season. With the Nacua brothers in the fold, what will the depth chart at wide receiver look like in 2021?

BYU Football Miles Davis and Chris Jackson

Here was my projected depth chart before the Nacua brothers committed to BYU:

  1. Neil Pau'u
  2. Keanu Hill
  1. Gunner Romney
  2. Brayden Cosper OR Chase Roberts
  1. Kody Epps
  2. Chris Jackson

In the original projections, I went back and forth on Epps and Jackson for the third starting spot. Since then, Keanu Hill has shown well in spring practices and Kody Epps has been sidelined due to injury. That third spot was firmly up for grabs before the Nacua brothers committed. Once you add in Puka and Samson, it creates a log jam at the wide receiver position.

Updated Projections

If there's one thing we know for sure, it's that Gunner Romney and Neil Pau'u will be important pieces in the 2021 offense. Beyond that, it's a bunch of question marks. Puka Nacua has the talent to be the best of the bunch should he learn the playbook and stay healthy. Samson Nacua is interesting - he is talented, but most notably he brings a different style to the room. He is more of a true slot receiver, and I think he will start at the slot receiver position for BYU. Below is my updated depth chart projection:

  1. Neil Pau'u OR Puka Nacua
  2. Keanu Hill
  1. Gunner Romney
  2. Chris Jackson
  1. Samson Nacua
  2. Kody Epps

Like I mentioned, I believe Puka will play as long as he can learn the playbook and stay healthy. I'm just not sure where exactly he will fit on the depth chart - he could be interchangeable with Pau'u and Romney. Based on these projections, players like Kody Epps, Chris Jackson, Keanu  Hill, and Brayden Cosper are the players that would see fewer reps due to the addition of the Nacua brothers.

I also took Chase Roberts off the depth chart. I think he will have a redshirt year to get back in shape and learn the playbook.

There are two more storylines I'm monitoring throughout the season:

1. The transfer portal giveth, the transfer portal taketh away

Will the addition of the Nacua brothers push any wide receivers into the transfer portal? Or perhaps initiate a position change?

2. Walk-ons to watch

PWO wide receivers have made a substantial impact for BYU during the independence era. Could a PWO crack the two deep at WR? Hobbs Nyberg, Kade Moore, and Tanner Wall are three names to watch. 

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