3-round Chargers mock draft centered around Brian Branch in round 1

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With the 54th pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers select:  Iowa TE Sam LaPorta

Aside from Dalton Kincaid in the first round, Sam LaPorta is likely the best receiving tight end in the 2023 Draft Class. He had 2.16 yards per route run in 2022 and forced 20 (!!!) broken tackles this season. He's great at getting to his spots to catch the ball and can do damage as a YAC threat. The 4.59 speed is real. Over his last two seasons at Iowa, La Porta had 111 receptions for over 1300 yards.

The question will likely be whether or not La Porta is a good enough blocker to play in Kellen Moore 12 personnel sets. Make no mistake: La Porta is not a Michael Mayer level blocker, his lack of size inline does show. But he's not an inherently bad blocker either and at least did what was asked of him in that role. A fully complete tight end is also somewhat hard to find in this class.

The receiving threat and pressure that La Porta can apply on a defense makes his selection more than worth it even if there are some things he needs to work on as a blocker. Him and Gerald Everett would certainly make a really fun 1-2 YAC punch.

In terms of room for development, La Porta is also one of the younger tight ends in this class at just 22 years old. Take the receiving prowess here and figure out the rest later.