Lions tight end Sam LaPorta sets NFL record for early career production

Sam LaPorta has delivered nicely right away for the Detroit Lions, setting an NFL record through two games for a rookie tight end.
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

From Day 1, through rookie minicamp, OTAs and training camp, Sam LaPorta has clearly asserted himself as the best tight end on the Detroit Lions' roster. In Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs, he was everything the team could have hoped he'd be as a pass catcher and a blocker.

In Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks, LaPorta was a clear bright spot and he stepped up when others were sidelined or limited by injuries late in the game. Head coach Dan Campbell and quarterback Jared Goff praised his early work to become a prominent all-around part of the Lions' offense.

Of his 63 yards against Seattle, LaPorta had 35 yards after the catch and he (according to Pro Football Focus, with some easy math) averaged 7.0 yards after the catch per reception (third among tight ends with at least six targets in Week 2).

The history of rookie tight ends lacking production is well-known, within a fantasy football angle of course. But LaPorta has been easily tabbed as one who could defy that, in a deep rookie class at the position this year.

Sam LaPorta sets NFL record for early production from a rookie tight end

Per Lions PR, LaPorta is the first tight end in NFL history with 5-plus receptions in each of the first two games of his career. His 10 receptions through two games are tied for second-most a tight end has had through two career games.

LaPorta has been much more than an in-line tight end right away for the Lions, as was easy to suggest during the summer and has been shown through two games (h/t to Ben Raven of MLive).

As great as his start has been, the first two weeks could be just the beginning for LaPorta. Before too long, if he stays on the early track, he will vault himself into the conversation among the best tight ends in the NFL.

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