3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Eventually signing Evan Engram to a three-year contract extension last summer takes the Jaguars out of the significant end of the tight end market for a while. But at the time of the draft last April, they had only placed the franchise tag on him and there was no guaranteed the two sides would reach an agreement on a multi-year deal.
With their 2023 first round pick (No. 27 overall), Jacksonville took offensive tackle Anton Harrison. He started all 17 games at right tackle this season, and while he wasn't flawless making the transition from being a college left tackle he looks to be a building block for an offensive line that is headed for some offseason changes.
By the time Jacksonville picked again at No. 61 overall, LaPorta was of course long gone. But theydid take a tight end there, Brenton Strange out of Penn State, and as our friends over at Black and Teal noted the Jaguars could have traded up to get LaPorta (or another tight end) if they wanted to.
Strange finished with five receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown, though he also barely played in 14 games (307 offensive snaps; 26.3 percent of Jacksonville's total offensive snaps). Being in a bit role behind Engram, and really being Jacksonville's No. 3 tight end, was not helpful. But in theory most teams would expect a lot more than five catches from a second-round pick.
Putting the Jaguars here, in light of Engram's presence for at least a few more years, feels like a stretch. But the possibilities for their offense would be widened by having a legit extra weapon like LaPorta, and Engram is deployed like a slot receiver anyway (No. 1 in slot snaps among tight ends this season, according to Player Profiler).