Sam LaPorta might have shot up the Bengals' draft board after Combine showing

Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Iowa tight end Sam Laporta (TE07) participates in drills at
Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Iowa tight end Sam Laporta (TE07) participates in drills at / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cincinnati Bengals might be in need of a new starting tight end depending on what happens with Hayden Hurst this offseason. If they turn to the draft to fill the need, Sam LaPorta out of Iowa is someone they should strongly consider drafting if he's on the board when they're making their selection.

The team met with LaPorta last Tuesday, per reports, and it's not shocking to see why. There's a need at the position and he's one of the best options in the draft.

LaPorta turned heads at the Combine, most notably with his 4.59 40-time.

Bengals would be a good landing spot for Sam LaPorta

With Hurst's future in Cincinnati up in the air, the Bengals could look to spend one of their early picks on a tight end and LaPorta fits the mold. He finished the 2022 season with 58 catches for 657 yards and a touchdown in 12 games. Iowa has a great reputation of producing talented tight ends (Noah Fant, T.J. Hockenson, and George Kittle to name a few) and LaPorta looks to be the next Hawkeye tight end to make his mark in the pros.

"I’m not sure what they’re putting in the water in Iowa City, Iowa, but the Hawkeyes at the combine have been showing out in a big way. LaPorta’s 4.59-second 40-yard dash at 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds was the third-fastest time at the position. He then recorded a 35-inch vertical and a 10-foot-3 broad. LaPorta is an experienced, all-around tight end who showed good receiving ability, but to see those kinds of athletic numbers on him means he has even more in the tank to develop. It was a big weekend for LaPorta as he tries to stand out among a solid tight end class. "

Trevor Sikkema

Bengals fans would love to have Hurst back in Cincinnati but there's a decent chance he signs somewhere else. If he does, LaPorta is a solid replacement. As Trevor Sikkema of PFF noted in the blurb provided above, LaPorta posted the third-fastest tight end 40-time at the Combine, so he's clearly got the speed the stripes covet offensively.

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This is a stacked class of tight ends so the Bengals will be eyeing a few different guys but Sam LaPorta is one of the more intriguing guys on the list.