Sam LaPorta TE, Iowa
Will Sam Laporta be available this late in the draft? Honestly, I feel doubtful about it. I find it hard to believe he will slip past the Miami Dolphins' first selection at 51 but hey, if it happens, I think he's the ideal tight end for new offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik's offense.
LaPorta has been compared to former Hawkeye tight end and current 49er, George Kittle as their athletic profiles, as well as play styles, are almost identical. That being said, this isn't the next George Kittle incarnate.
LaPorta was the receiving leader for Iowa the last two seasons. He shows a good understanding of the route tree, works all over the field, is an energetic blocker, and his athleticism comes out in every situation. If Laporta was in any of the last three classes, I believe he would have been a first or second-round tight end; however, in what could be a historic tight end class, he falls to the third round.
There are some size concerns with LaPorta, as he's only 6'3", 245 pounds. You can see this lack of physicality in his ability to win at the point of attack when fighting for a contested ball.
LaPorta is an athletic tight end and has a future in the NFL with the right coaching. This is a lot different than a few years ago when the Texans drafted former Iowa Hawkeyes CJ Fiedorowitz, who at the time was said to be a reach, as he was mainly just a blocking tight end. So don't let that PTSD cloud you're thinking here.