NAME: Sam LaPorta
HOMETOWN: Highland, IL
HIGH SCHOOL: Highland
GAMES WATCHED: Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin
- 2019 (12 games): 21 targets with 15 receptions for 188 yards.
- 2020 (8 games): 46 targets with 27 receptions for 271 yards and 1 TD. 3 drops.
- 2021 (14 games): 81 targets with 53 receptions for 670 yards and 3 TDs. 5 drops.
The latest fantastic tight end out of Iowa, LaPorta looks like a physical clone of TJ Hockenson on the field for the Hawkeyes. While there were rumors that he might declare for the 2022 draft, LaPorta instead decided to return for his senior season. He’s a very smooth receiving tight end who does a good job sinking his hips while running routes. He has soft hands and tracks and catches the ball well without body catching. Because he has such good burst out of his stance, LaPorta is able to split out wide or line up as a wing/in-line tight end. When lined up on the formation, he does a good job getting up the seam and making himself available as a receiving threat. He’s a decent blocker, but he does lack length and strength in his upper body to control defenders. However, he does show good leg drive and effort to seal run lanes at times. Pass blocking is a weakness of his; it doesn’t take much to knock him back. Overall, LaPorta is a solid tight end. While not the most explosive, I see him being a consistent player at the next level. I’d expect him to be picked sometime on Day 2 of the draft.