Not only is adapting to the NFL from the college ranks exceptionally hard but the transition from a college tight end to being an NFL tight end is often viewed as one of the hardest transitions.
Former Iowa Hawkeyes tight end Sam LaPorta appears to be an exception to this rule as he hit the ground running in the NFL from day one and has been a key cog for the Detroit Lions, who are preparing for the NFC Championship and a trip to the Super Bowl.
His outstanding rookie performance has him among the finalists named for the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.
— NFL (@NFL) January 25, 2024
Sam LaPorta tallied 86 receptions for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns in his first season with the Lions. He was fourth in the league in receptions among tight ends, fifth in receiving yards, and first in tight end receiving touchdowns by a wide margin.
The other finalists include LaPorta’s rookie teammate, running back Jahmyr Gibbs, wide receiver Puka Nacua of the Los Angeles Rams, running back Bijan Robinson of the Atlanta Falcons, and quarterback C.J. Stroud of the Houston Texans.
With one year under his belt, Sam LaPorta has carried the ‘Tight End U’ torch proudly and appears to have the Lions set at the tight end position for a long time. Up next for LaPorta is an NFC Championship against the San Francisco 49ers with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.