Sam LaPorta, a senior tight end player from the University of Iowa, is expected to be a highlight of the 2023 NFL Draft. LaPorta, who had a total of 111 receptions for 1,327 yards and four touchdowns during his final collegiate season, is known for his agility and tough-to-bring-down mentality. He was also the only FBS tight end in 2022 with 20-plus missed tackles. While LaPorta needs improvement in his blocking techniques and controlling his approach to contact, his reliability as a pass-catcher in tight areas and versatility as a coverage-breaker are appealing qualities that NFL teams should consider.
LaPorta reminds the Las Vegas Raiders of Austin Hooper, a current tight end for the team. Both players have a similar all-around style that provides teams with a reliable pass-catcher and willing blocker. LaPorta has a smooth operation in the seam, which would be ideal for new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Despite having a less-than-desired strength and arm length in blocking, LaPorta’s draft value should not be overlooked because he provides teams with a reliable security blanket.
LaPorta is projected to be a prospect between the second and third round of the draft. Although the 38th pick in the second round, owned by the Las Vegas Raiders, is too high for LaPorta, the 70th, 100th, and 109th picks in round four would be an opportune time to acquire a player of LaPorta’s caliber. LaPorta’s skillset and aggression as a competitor are likened to fellow Iowa player George Kittle.
Leave a Reply