3 teams who are definitely sad they didn't get Sam LaPorta in the 2023 NFL Draft

After a record-setting rookie season, these three teams are definitely the most sad they didn't get Lions tight end Sam LaPorta in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 4
Next

2. Las Vegas Raiders

As mentioned, the Raiders took Michael Mayer the pick after the Lions took LaPorta. If memory serves me right, they weren't on the clock very long to make that pick when Mayer "fell" to them. It may have been down to LaPorta or Mayer for them, with a similar need at tight end like the Lions had, and when LaPorta was gone they didn't hesitate to take Mayer.

Mayer missed the last three games this season. But even in the 14 games he played, his numbers (27 receptions for 304 yards and two touchdowns) fell well short of LaPorta's output.

Now, it's also fair to say the Raiders' quarterback situation hampered Mayer big-time. Jimmy Garoppolo, Aidan O'Connell and Brian Hoyer threw passes for Las Vegas, with the rookie O'Connell making 10 starts. Put him in the Lions' situation, and he surely would have done better. Maybe a lot better, even if he didn't set all kinds of records like LaPorta did.

It's only one season, Mayer has plenty of potential and LaPorta will be challenged to keep this year's momentum going. The Raiders may have simply been left to chose the wrong top-tier tight end prospect when we look back with more time to evaluate. But having LaPorta in Silver and Black would be pretty nice for them right now, looking toward 2024 and beyond.