High School and College Career
Sam LaPorta was a 3-star recruit from Highland High School prior to committing to the University of Iowa.
As a freshman in 2019, LaPorta played in 12 games for the Hawkeyes and recorded 15 receptions for a total of 188 yards, averaging 12.5 yards per catch. During this season, he did not score any touchdowns but maintained a high quarterback rating of 98.9 when targeted. In addition, he demonstrated his skill as a blocker by allowing no pressures and no sacks.
In his sophomore season, LaPorta played in eight games and had a solid 27 catches for a total of 271 yards with an average of 10.0 yards per catch. He scored his first touchdown and maintained a respectable quarterback rating of 55.6 when targeted. While his pass protection was not perfect, he only gave up two pressures and no sacks.
With increased experience in his junior season, LaPorta played in 14 games and significantly improved his performance, recording an impressive 53 catches for a total of 670 yards, with an average of 12.6 yards per catch. He scored three touchdowns and maintained an excellent quarterback rating of 93.1 when targeted.
In his final season as a senior in 2022, LaPorta played in 11 games and recorded another 53 catches for a total of 592 yards, averaging 11.2 yards per catch. He recorded one touchdown and had a solid quarterback rating of 74.0 when targeted. While his pass protection suffered a bit with one pressure and one sack given up, LaPorta’s overall performance on the field was still impressive.
Sam LaPorta Scouting Report Introduction
Sam LaPorta’s journey to becoming one of the best tight ends in college football has been marked by versatility and hard work. In high school, LaPorta’s athletic prowess was evident as he played not just as a wide receiver and defensive back but also lettered in basketball and track. Upon arriving at Iowa, LaPorta made the transition to tight end and has since established himself as a key contributor to the Hawkeye offense.
LaPorta’s ability to consistently produce on the field has not gone unnoticed, as he has racked up a number of awards and accolades. He earned the team hustle award in 2021 and was named Iowa’s offensive MVP in 2022, in addition to being named a permanent team captain. Coaches’ appreciation award and various academic accolades are other feathers on his cap.
LaPorta’s skill set as a tight end is a valuable asset to the Hawkeye offense, particularly given their struggles to create big plays and maintain offensive momentum. As the team’s leading receiver in terms of yards gained over the past two seasons, LaPorta is a trusted target who contributes regularly. The Hawkeyes deploy him both as a traditional in-line player and from the slot, demonstrating his versatility and utility to the team. His experience running routes to all levels of the field is an important factor in his success. Additionally, LaPorta’s crisp route-running and consistent leverage makes him a valuable receiver for his quarterback. His ability to pluck the ball away from his frame and make adjustments mid-flight are advantages that most tight ends do not possess.
LaPorta’s competitiveness as a blocker also makes him an important asset to the team. With his good leverage and ability to fit his hands, he consistently excels in blocking situations for the offense. LaPorta’s acceleration and movement create valuable gaps for running backs and other receivers, setting up the Hawkeyes for success on a regular basis. However, while he is an accomplished blocker, there are weaknesses in his game, particularly when facing particularly intense opposition.
While LaPorta is a dynamic athlete and a talented tight end, there is some room for growth. His blocking abilities could benefit from further refinement, and his occasional drops and lack of dominance at the catch point could create challenges in certain situations. However, LaPorta’s skill set overall is impressive, and he appears to have the potential to be an impactful player in the NFL.
When discussing the skills and abilities of Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta, there are several key points to keep in mind. Firstly, LaPorta is not your average, run-of-the-mill tight end. While he certainly has the size and strength to play the position effectively, he also has the ability to run wide receiver routes, a skill that is not always common among tight ends. This unique blend of versatility makes him a valuable asset to any offensive scheme, as he can line up in a variety of positions and confuse opposing defenses.
His route tree is extensive, and he has excellent hands.
LaPorta’s physical attributes are also noteworthy. He has the size and strength to hold his own against even the most aggressive defenders. Additionally, he is great at using his length to adjust to throws that may be under or overthrown, making him a valuable red-zone target.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning LaPorta’s abilities after the catch. He is great at taking advantage of mismatches against linebackers, using his speed and agility to make defenders miss and gain extra yards. This makes him a valuable weapon in the passing game, as he can turn short passes into long gains and keep the chains moving.
Overall, Sam LaPorta is an impressive prospect with a wide range of skills and abilities that make him an attractive option for any team in need of a versatile tight end. Whether it’s his ability to run receiver routes, his football intelligence, his reliable hands, his physical build, or his skills after the catch, LaPorta has proven that he has what it takes to succeed at the collegiate and professional levels.
One specific area of concern when it comes to LaPorta’s performance is his blocking ability. In particular, many experts have noted that he needs some serious development when blocking against edge rushers. This means that he is not really a day 1 contributor to the team. In addition to struggling with edge rushers, LaPorta has also been deemed a liability in terms of his run-blocking skills.
One factor that needs to be considered when evaluating LaPorta’s performance is the somewhat limited usage he has experienced thus far. In other words, a small sample size of tape can be analyzed better to understand his strengths and weaknesses as a player. While certain weaknesses may have been identified in the limited footage available, it’s important to remember that a larger body of work may provide different insights and perspectives.
Despite the challenges and areas of concern identified in LaPorta’s game so far, there is still reason for optimism regarding his potential. With hard work, focus, and coaching, it’s possible that he could improve significantly in terms of his blocking ability and become a more well-rounded and effective player overall.
Sam LaPorta is our 86th prospect on our draft big board.