Commanders 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Big splash edition

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Sam LaPorta
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Sam LaPorta /
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(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Sam LaPorta /

Commanders draft Sam LaPorta

  • Tight End | Iowa Hawkeyes

Even though the Washington Commanders seem content to go with what they have at the tight end position, that could all change during the 2023 NFL Draft. This is an exceptional class with numerous individuals that could become productive pros, so it’s an opportunity the franchise might find difficult to ignore when push comes to shove.

If Sam LaPorta is still around by the time Washington goes on the clock at No. 97 overall, a discussion must be had. The former three-star high school recruit is among the most reliable pass-catching tight ends in this year’s class, which is matched by an exceptional route tree that already looks NFL-ready.

LaPorta is an intelligent player that knows how to get open and use leverage to his advantage. This makes him a threat in red-zone situations and could be Sam Howell’s best friend in no time at all.

The former Iowa star is primarily a pass-catcher. Any team that wants him to assist in blocking immediately will be extremely disappointed as this is an area of his game that needs significant work.

With that being said, the Commanders have John Bates for that. This makes LaPorta an intriguing option that would enable Washington to move on from Logan Thomas unless there is a major upturn in production next season.