Sam Laporta - TE - Iowa
Welcome to the rookie profile for Sam Laporta. Laporta is a strong receiver, after converting from WR to TE in college. During his time in college, despite a struggling offense, Laporta made himself the lead receiver for the team.
Height: 6′ 3″
Weight: 245 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.59
3-cone drill: 6.91
20-yard shuttle: 4.25
Vertical Jump: 35″
Broad Jump: 10′-3
Bench Press: DNP
Laporta was rated a 3-star recruit, joining Iowa as a converted wide receiver. In his freshman year he saw the field 6 times, with 15 receptions for a solid 188 yards. He followed that up in 2020 with 27 receptions for 271 yards, getting his first TD. His junior year, in 2021, he had his best season. He played 14 games, with 53 receptions for 670 yards and 3 TDs. College for Laporta was about changing position, gaining the mass he needs to be among the better TEs in the draft class.
Laporta is a great receiver, able to run (nearly) any route required, including ‘WR’ runs. His hands are great, working as a leading receiver for Iowa during his time in college. Able to adjust his body to get the ball if it comes his way, but hasn’t been placed perfectly. His size and athletic ability makes him a tough matchup for defenses too. Once he has the ball in his hands, he has great ability to break tackles and make plays.
Laporta is limited to a receiving TE, with his blocking ability on run and pass plays somewhat limited. On run clocking in particular, he really struggles to make an impact.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Round 3
Laporta to be at his best needs to be on a team that is going to be able to use him effectively as a receiver, and not ask him to block too often. His lack of blocking ability could limit his early appeal and snap count, but landing on a team like the Chargers, where he wouldn’t be asked to block he would be a fantasy force.
Post Draft Analysis
Detroit Lions – Round 2, Pick 3
The Detroit Lions needed a replacement TE option after trading T.J. Hockenson during last season, and found their man with Laporta. He went a decent chunk earlier than I originally thought, but that just really shows the belief (and in reality, the need) of the Lions to have pass catchers in their offense.
The Lions are building a young dynamic group, working alongside their (already effective) offensive line. Laporta shouldn’t be needed to block too often, and should be able to command a decent target share in an offense that really only has Amon-Ra St. Brown as the only ‘established’ receiver in the offense.
In redraft leagues, he could be worth a shot in PPR leagues, as I’m not sure he will see much more than checkdowns this season.