Sam LaPorta, Iowa (6’4”, 249)
What Scouts Say:
Led Iowa in receiving two years straight. Sound route runner, and a consistent target for his QB. Competitive blocker and a broken tackle machine after the catch. Solid, but not dynamic. Will not dominate at the catch point, but has the potential to be a solid TE. A strong receiver at all 3 levels. Plus athlete, but will be beaten by top-tier opposing edge rushers. Good agility for his size. Lower ceiling than other TEs in this class.
What We Saw:
Sam LaPorta was the best pass-game option on a putrid offense for two straight years, and his numbers reflect that: he had a ton of catches and was also facing a ton of coverage shaded his way, because everyone knew Iowa wasn’t throwing anywhere else. Several times I saw him running open, only to not get the target, have the QB misfire, or a sack occurred. LaPorta wants to punish people both after the catch and as a blocker, but he’s an okay blocker and I wonder how much his RAC ability translates. He’s got that dawg in him, but it’s not a super intimidating one. I see him as a great TE2 or extremely low-floor TE1 on an offense that doesn’t ask for a TE to do a whole lot for fantasy purposes. He’s solid, but not a game-breaker.
That man can YAC! LaPorta has a very deep route tree that he utilizes more than most of the TEs I’ve watched so far. He has the ability to make guys miss or bounce off of him once the ball is secured. Feels like a freight train, where it takes him a little bit to get going but once he’s going he’s gone. Not a game-changing blocker, but he’s not being used as a lineman, he’s a receiver. Even with the YAC ability, his extension of hands and body control is passable so there’s not a clutch factor quite yet, but that’s a teachable skill and a knock on other receiving options in this class. LaPorta isn’t a stellar athlete but knows how to use his size in the right situation, we just need to inject some more DAWG into him.