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Sam LaPorta NFL Draft
NFL Draft

What Are Sam LaPorta’s 4 Best NFL Team Fits?

  • Jack McKessy
  • April 13, 2023
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Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta has emerged as one of the best tight ends in a 2023 NFL Draft class that’s stacked with talent at the position. He was truly the only highlight of the Hawkeyes’ offense over the past two seasons as their leading pass-catching target thanks to his good route-running and hands. He also displayed a strong ability to tack on yards after the catch by lowering his shoulder through contact.

Given his skills as a receiver and upside as a blocker at the tight end position, there’s an argument to be made that LaPorta is a top three or four tight end in this class. There are plenty of teams that could use a player like LaPorta, but these are the four best team fits.

Green Bay Packers

The Packers are out a quarterback, a lead receiver, and a starting tight end with Aaron Rodgers, Allen Lazard, and Robert Tonyan all set to join new teams after this offseason. With that being the case, new quarterback Jordan Love could really use some help, especially in the form of a reliable tight end that can serve as both a pass-catcher and extra blocker. 

Not that LaPorta necessarily would be the leading target in Green Bay’s passing offense, but if he were, he has plenty of experience carrying an offense from his time playing at Iowa.

Los Angeles Chargers

Despite having an exciting group of pass catchers at receiver and running back—Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Josh Palmer, and Austin Ekeler (for now)—the Chargers are still missing a real difference-maker at tight end after letting Hunter Henry walk in free agency a couple of years ago. New offensive coordinator Kellen Moore proved from his previous stop in Dallas that he likes to get the tight end, and sometimes more than one of them, involved in the passing offense. 

LaPorta would be a valuable TE2 alongside Gerald Everett that can win as a pass-catcher and blocker. With Everett set to become a free agent after this season, the Iowa product could step into a leading role in the Chargers’ offense almost immediately.

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders let tight end Darren Waller go for a late day-two pick in one of the most shocking moves of the offseason thus far. Waller was a crucial part of their offense when healthy over his last four years with the Raiders, and Las Vegas needs to bring in a young new tight end that can fill Waller’s former role. 

LaPorta would be one of the best options for this job as a guy that has experience being a top pass-catching target from his time at Iowa. He wouldn’t necessarily be the top target for new Raiders starter Jimmy Garoppolo with receivers Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow still around. Still, the former Hawkeye would be a super reliable option at tight end for a quarterback and an offensive play-caller in head coach Josh McDaniels that know a thing or two about running the passing offense through a tight end.

Washington Commanders

The Commanders’ current quartet of tight ends doesn’t feature anyone that really moves the needle. Logan Thomas hasn’t seen more than 100 targets nor 600 receiving yards since 2020, John Bates hasn’t hit 35 career receptions over two years in the NFL and neither Cole Turner nor Armani Rogers showed much of anything in their rookie season. If Washington truly plans to move forward into the future with second-year quarterback Sam Howell under center as their franchise guy, they need to give him some help at the tight end position. 

Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, and Curtis Samuel are a more than solid leading trio at receiver, but a guy like LaPorta would help take the offense a step further with what he’d bring as a tight end. He can play in-line and catch passes or block, but he can also line up in the slot and create opportunities there as a strong route-runner with good hands.