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Raiders-Lions Week 8: Rookie tight ends on display

Lions’ rookie Sam LaPorta has been a standout

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions
Sam LaPorta
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

As we prepare for the Las Vegas Week 8 game at the Detroit Lions on Monday night, one player to focus on is Lions rookie tight end Sam LaPorta.

He has been excellent. The Raiders, of course, have their own rookie tight end, Michael Mayer. He has been making progress and like, LaPorta, Mayer is showing signs that he will be a productive long-term player.

Interestingly, LaPorta and Mayer were drafted back-to-back. The Lions nabbed LaPorta out of Iowa with the No. 34 overall pick, the third pick of the second round. On the next pick, the Raiders jumped up from No. 38 and traded No. 38 and No. 141 (fifth-round pick) to the Indianapolis Colts to take Mayer out of Notre Dame at No. 35.

With LaPorta going, the Raiders (who have said they had a first-round grade on Mayer) may have run they would lose out on a run on tight ends and made the deal.

LaPorta has 35 catches for 377 yards and three touchdowns in seven games. Mayer, who has been coming on in recent games, has 10 catches for 129 yards and no touchdowns.

While there are many angles to watch in this matchup, the two rookie tight ends will be a fun angle to watch.