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Draft Coverage

A CLOSER LOOK: Tight end Sam LaPorta

Player: Tight end Sam LaPorta, Iowa.

Pick: Round 2, 34 overall.

Ht.Wt.: 6-3, 245.

Combine results: 4.59 40.

Stats: Four-year player, he had big production his last two seasons – 53 catches for 670 yards in 2021, and 58 catches for 657 yards in 2022.

View photos of tight end Sam LaPorta.

Bio: Another link in a long line of tight ends from Iowa. The most recent was T.J. Hockenson, drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2019.

The Iowa pipeline to the NFL also includes George Kittle and Noah Fant.

LaPorta has been a steady, durable player for Iowa, with 46 games played and 32 starts.

The Lions now have teammates from Iowa from this year's draft class. Linebacker Jack Campbell was drafted in the first round on Thursday.

Analyst's take: "Highly targeted tight end whose playing style and physical abilities land somewhere between a connected (in-line or wing) and move tight end. LaPorta has the ability to threaten zone coverage and will make the basic catches. However, he lacks the desired elusiveness and ball skills to come away with the more challenging catches. LaPorta takes on run-blocking chores with inconsistent positioning but has the potential to improve with more work in that phase of the game. His catch production is splashy, but he appears to have average-starter potential at the next level." - Lance Zierlein,

Mike O'Hara's take: "There are certain positions that stand out for certain schools. For Iowa, it's tight ends, linebackers and defensive linemen. They can be counted on for effort and production. Sam LaPorta is cut in that mold."

Twentyman's take: "In LaPorta, the Lions are getting an uber productive pass-catching tight end who caught over 50 passes with more than 600 receiving yards in each of the last two seasons. He split his time almost equally playing both inline and out wide and in the slot. Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson will like that versatility. LaPorta finished as the program's all-time receptions leader (153) at the position."

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