Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes has found a potential replacement for T.J. Hockenson in second-round draft pick Sam LaPorta out of, you guessed it, Iowa. LaPorta is a versatile player who can line up in different positions and is willing to block in the run game. Holmes is impressed by LaPorta's athleticism and ball skills, and he believes he can be a mismatch in the passing game. Despite not being the biggest player, LaPorta plays bigger than his size and has a gritty finishing style.
- Sam LaPorta was selected by the Lions with the No. 34 pick in the NFL draft
- LaPorta is a tight end from the University of Iowa
- He is versatile and can line up in different positions
- LaPorta is willing to block in the run game
- He has good ball skills and can be a mismatch in the passing game
- Despite his size, LaPorta plays bigger and has a gritty finishing style
Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes raves about selecting TE Sam LaPorta
Here is what Holmes had to say about drafting LaPorta:
“Really, really athletic guy,” general manager Brad Holmes said. “He can play a lot of different positions, he can align in a lot of different spots. He can do it in-line. I really like his urgency and willingness (blocking) in the run game. For the most part, he's active with his hands. He's not the biggest guy, he's not a 6-5, 250 (pound) guy, but he plays a lot bigger in line than you think. What really stands out when he detaches from the core (of the formation) and the work he can do on the perimeter. He can beat a DB, he can catch contested, he can run the slant, he's got very good ball skills.
“He's just a really good athlete,” Holmes continued. “He can bend, he can change direction, and again, I just really like he plays football, man. He's just got a gritty feel about him. Although he's athletic and he can do all that stuff in the pass game and he can be a mismatch all that stuff, he still has a gritty finishing style, especially with the ball in his hands.”
Bottom Line – Lions strike gold with LaPorta
I absolutely LOVE Sam LaPorta and I believe the Lions made a smart move by selecting him in the second round of the draft. LaPorta is an absolute beast, who is a versatile and athletic player who can make an immediate impact on the team. With his ball skills and gritty finishing style, LaPorta has the potential to be a star for the Lions. Say what you want about the Lions taking tight ends too high, but I can guarantee the fans are going to love this kid.