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Sam LaPorta was drafted No. 34 overall by the Lions last month. The 22-year-old former Iowa tight end joined Detroit as the organization’s second-round pick and couldn’t be more thrilled.
LaPorta, a former three-star recruit, says that he has been labeled “underwhelming” in the past and has been determined to let his play do the talking ever since. Considering that he caught 53 passes for 670 yards and three scores in a terrible Hawkeyes offense last fall, he is well on his way!
Despite the fact that LaPorta has earned his way into the NFL, the entire thing is still overwhelming.
It’s really cool. I’m a little naive, as all rookies are. I mean, the hair on the back of my neck stood up, I got chills when I heard we were going to Arrowhead to open up the season. You know, I’m living my dream of playing ball. And you know, I never really thought I’d be in this situation, but here I am.— Sam LaPorta
Sam LaPorta is enjoying every moment.
That was evident at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere on Saturday.
The NFLPA Rookie Premier is a program that is intended to help the league acquire corporate brands and help league sponsors get to know some of the most marketable NFL Draft picks. It is the first time that all of the top prospects get together, in one place, and don their uniforms.
C.J. Stroud was there.
Bryce Young was there.
Bijan Robinson was there. Anthony Richardson was there. Jahmyr Gibbs was there. Jalin Hyatt was there. Will Anderson Jr. was there. Jaxson Smith-Njigba was there. Stetson Bennett was there. All of the big names were there!
LaPorta was thrilled to be invited. He didn’t say as much, but it was very clear based on the smile that was spread from ear to ear
When all of the rookies got together for the group photo, some of them had soft smiles. Others kept a straight face. LaPorta was straight cheesing, hard.
Even when it came time for individual team photos, LaPorta couldn’t wipe the joy from his face.
Gibbs and Hendon Hooker were all business.
LaPorta was all smiles!