2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: TE Sam LaPorta, Iowa

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: TE Sam LaPorta, Iowa

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2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: TE Sam LaPorta, Iowa


A two-way prep player who moved from wide receiver to tight end in college, Iowa Hawkeyes tight end Sam LaPorta brings a blend of receiving chops and scheme versatility to the pros.

Coming from a school known for its tight end success, LaPorta set Iowa’s all-time record for career receptions and led his Big Ten positional mates in catches during the 2021 season.

Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 245 pounds
40 time: 4.59 seconds

LaPorta is primarily a “move” tight end who flexes into the slot and can fit many systems. The position is deep in this draft class, and he’s a top-50 prospect, according to most draft pundits.

Table: Sam LaPorta stats (2018-22)

Year School Class G Receiving Rushing
Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD
*2019 Iowa Fr 6 15 188 12.5 0 0 0 0
2020 Iowa So 8 27 271 10.0 1 0 0 0
*2021 Iowa Jr 14 53 670 12.6 3 0 0 0
*2022 Iowa Sr 12 58 657 11.3 1 2 6 3.0 0

*includes postseason/bowl games (stats from Sports Reference)


  • Experienced in a pro-style offense but also can fit into multiple systems
  • Natural hands-catcher who often had to go out of his way to reel in errant passes from substandard quarterback play
  • Athletic movement traits to excel after the catch and create YAC
  • Dangerous down the seam but also is adept at generating production on manufactured touches
  • Demonstrates a nuanced understanding of route-running techniques through varied footwork, body lean, and head fakes
  • Creates mismatches against slower linebackers and smaller safeties
  • Aggressively attacks the ball in contested situations
  • Displays spacial awareness vs. zone coverage and also near the sidelines
  • Unrealized potential as a blocker if NFL coaches can finely tune his technique
  • Boasts a nasty stiff-arm


  • Lacks the size and strength to be an anchor in pass protection — the majority of his negatives stem from blocking deficiencies
  • Wasn’t overly productive and racked up just five scores over 153 catches
  • Has room to grow in terms of route tree development

Fantasy football outlook

LaPorta reminds of a former Iowa tight end from 20 years ago in Dallas Clark. Any team drafting him LaPorta will benefit from not trying to force him into a role he’s not meant to occupy. While LaPorta’s offerings for pro teams will increase as he improves as a blocker, thus keeping him on the field more, he’s at his best running routes in the middle of the field.

Expect a Round 3 draft placement to be his ceiling, but he should be off the board before the fifth round. He’d shine in a spread passing attack or a creative West Coast system, such as a variant of the Sean McVay or Andy Reid coaching trees. That said, rookie tight ends tend to struggle to make a difference in fantasy, so LaPorta probably will remain irrelevant during the 2023 season.


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