Lions rookie tight end Sam LaPorta has been a revelation through the first three games of his career, setting the NFL tight end record for catches (18) in that three-game span to start a career. His 186 yards is the second-most for a tight end over the first three games of a career.
LaPorta has been everything the Lions could have hoped he'd be, and fantasy managers who believed in the hype around him have been rewarded very nicely. He'll start to get more broadly recognized, especially if the Lions win a lot of games this season.
If Rob Gronkowski knows anything, because he was one, it's what a great tight end looks like. He is a weekly guest on "Up and Adams" with Kay Adams on FanDuel TV, and on Wednesday the Lions rookie tight end was a topic as a tentacle of a look at Thursday night's game.
Rob Gronkowski puts huge praise on Sam LaPorta
Asked by Adams what makes LaPorta so special for him, "Gronk" had plenty to say.
"Just his instinct for the game, the instinct to be able to catch the ball. He can catch the ball on the run very, very well," Gronkowski said. "Like I said a little bit earlier that he is definitely the steal of the draft. He's got speed and he's just savvy out there. He's a savvy guy. And what's impressive is, he's only a rookie. I think he has beaten, if I'm correct, he has beaten the tight end record for most amount of catches in the first three games of a season for a rookie. I think he has 18 catches already. I mean, the guy is legit. He's going to be the highest-paid tight end in about four years in the NFL and he is going to be one of the best tight ends in the upcoming years in the NFL. He's just super, super savvy. He just has that football instinct."
The idea from Gronkowski that LaPorta will be the highest-paid tight end in the NFL down the road is interesting. The Lions had clear hesitancy to pay T.J. Hockenson big money, before trading him to the Vikings. But it's also fair to say LaPorta, if he remains on the track he has started on, will be more worthy of being the highest-paid tight end in the league than Hockenson was/is.