Detroit Lions rookie tight end Sam LaPorta is rewriting the NFL history books just three games into his young NFL career. On Sunday, against the Atlanta Falcons, LaPorta recorded eight catches for 84 yards and his first NFL touchdown. It was a solid game from the second-round pick, but what he has accomplished in three games is truly remarkable.
On Sunday, LaPorta became the first rookie tight end in NFL history to tally five catches in each of his first three games in the big leagues. Here’s his week-by-week performance thus far:
- Week 1: 5 catches, 39 yards
- Week 2: 5 catches, 63 yards
- Week 3: 8 catches, 84 yards, 1 TD
He now has the NFL record for most tight end receptions through the first three games of his career with 18. He’s also second in NFL tight end history in receiving yards (186) through the first three games.
“He’s a very trustworthy player because of the way that he practices and the fact that he doesn’t make the same mistake twice,” coach Dan Campbell said after the game.
The list of @NFL TEs to produce 5+ receptions in each of their first three-career games:— Detroit Lions PR (@LionsPR) September 24, 2023
- @Lions TE @Samlaporta
His three-game streak of 5+ receptions ties for the second-longest by a TE in franchise history.#OnePride pic.twitter.com/gEFok8lRpK
Of course, a rookie tight end doesn’t succeed this early in their career without a little help from his quarterback. Jared Goff saw the potential in LaPorta from the very first practice this offseason.
“The first day when he was at OTAs probably,” Goff said when asked when he sensed something special in LaPorta. “He’s a stud. He’s a stud. Has a great feel for the game, has great hands, obviously has good speed, blocks well when we ask him to block. But I know for me personally, he does a great job in the rep progression.”
While it’s rare for rookie tight ends to make this big of an impact this early in their careers, Goff thinks LaPorta is just getting started.
“I think the most exciting part about him, and I’m sure he’d say this is, he’s not even playing as well as he really could. There’s still some little rookie things that happen here or there that the sky’s the limit for him and it’s going to be fun to hopefully play with him for a long time.”