George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers and T.J. Hockenson of the Minnesota Vikings have stamped their presence in the NFL. Sam LaPorta is the newest Iowa tight end to take off after a huge rookie year for the Detroit Lions.
His 2023 performance is arguably the best of any tight end in the league. He was near the top in nearly all major statistical categories. This has him named the Lions’ 2023 MVP per CBS Sports.
The Lions rookie class may go down as a franchise-altering group as they received stellar play from a ton of first-year players, including tight end Sam LaPorta. He broke the record for most receptions by a tight end in his rookie season with 86 and was a reliable security blanket for Jared Goff in the passing game. LaPorta also elevated his play in the postseason, catching 21 of his 27 targets for 176 yards and a touchdown through three games. – Tyler Sullivan, CBS Sports
LaPorta had 86 receptions for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns in the regular season. His 10 touchdowns led all NFL tight ends. His playoff run was equally, if not more impressive as he battled through a sprained knee to continue to be one of the Lions’ most important offensive pieces.
The Lions advanced to the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers. Detroit squandered a 24-7 halftime lead in an eventual 34-31 loss, but the future looks bright for the franchise because of pieces like LaPorta.
Follow Riley on X: @rileydonald7