Tight end Sam LaPorta from Iowa was selected in the second round, 34 overall, during the NFL Draft. Standing at 6-3 and weighing 245 pounds, LaPorta clocked a 4.59 40 at the combine. Over his four-year college career, he posted impressive numbers with 53 catches for 670 yards in 2021 and 58 catches for 657 yards in 2022.
LaPorta is the latest player in a long line of Iowa tight ends who made it to the NFL, following in the footsteps of T.J. Hockenson, George Kittle, and Noah Fant. Over his college career, LaPorta played in 46 games, starting 32 of them. He now joins fellow Iowa player, linebacker Jack Campbell, who was drafted in the first round.
The Detroit Lions’ tight end roster includes Derrick Deese Jr., James Mitchell, Brock Wright, and Shane Zylstra. Analyst Lance Zierlein described LaPorta as having “average-starter potential” for his ability to threaten zone coverage and make basic catches, while still needing to improve on his run-blocking skills.
Detroit Lions reporter Mike O’Hara said LaPorta fits the mold of production and effort seen in Iowa players, especially in positions like tight ends, linebackers, and defensive linemen. Tim Twentyman also noted LaPorta’s versatility and ability to play both inline and out wide in the slot, factors that offensive coordinator Ben Johnson will appreciate. LaPorta finished his college career with a record 153 receptions for the tight end position.
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