Detroit Lions rookie tight end Sam LaPorta has become a favorite target of quarterback Jared Goff and it’s shown over the first three weeks of the season.
LaPorta had eight catches for 84 yards and a touchdown in the team’s 20-6 win over the Atlanta Falcons. He also entered the NFL record books.
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Lions tight end Sam LaPorta scores a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
The former Iowa standout, who had five catches in Weeks 1 and 2, became the first rookie tight end with at least that many receptions in each of his first three career games, according to NFL Research. His 18 receptions surpassed Keith Jackson’s 1988 mark for most receptions by a tight end in their first three career games.
“He’s a stud,” Goff said of LaPorta. “He has a great feel for the game. Great hands, obviously, and great speed.
“The sky is the limit and hopefully I’ll play with him for a long time.”
Sam LaPorta of the Detroit Lions runs after catching a pass against the Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Sept. 7, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri. (David Eulitt/Getty Images)
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Detroit selected LaPorta with the 34th pick of the draft this past spring. He played four years with the Hawkeyes and became a top target for the offense during his junior and senior seasons.
In 2022, he had 58 catches for 657 yards and a touchdown. He had three touchdowns in 2021.
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Lions tight end Sam LaPorta scores a touchdown on a 45-yard pass reception against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
LaPorta’s emergence marks another name on the standout tight ends from Iowa. George Kittle, Noah Fant and Dallas Clark are among the others.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Ryan Gaydos is a senior editor for Fox News Digital.