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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: T.J. Tampa (CB – Iowa State)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: T.J. Tampa (CB – Iowa State)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at Iowa State cornerback T.J. Tampa.

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: T.J. Tampa

T.J. Tampa (CB – Iowa State)

6’2” – 200 lbs.

Background:

Didn’t play a ton in the 2020 season, but started five games in eleven appearances the following year, with quarterbacks going 15/24 (62.5%) for 210 yards and five touchdowns, although he did break up two throws. Had a much better 2022 campaign, allowing just 20/43 passing (46.5%) for 248 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, and eight breakups. Reprised his starting role this year and had a solid season. Opponents went 25/49 (51%) for 240 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, and six breakups when targeting him.

Positives:

Tall corner with over two years of starting experience, playing very well over the past two seasons. Played a variety of different techniques, including man, press-man, off, and bail. Was asked to backpedal more than most college corners, and shows relatively clean footwork. May look best when he’s getting physical with opponents from press looks. Functional strength is above-average, and flashes the ability to jolt opponents with his hands at the line of scrimmage. Gets good depth to keep things in front of him and limit big plays when bailing or playing off coverage. Has smoother movement skills than anticipated given his size. Patient player who avoids committing too soon. Clean transitions from his backpedal to driving. Fast enough to stick with most opponents in man, and only gave up one completion of over thirty yards in the past two years. Defends shallow crosses well. Got his hands on a good amount of passes, with his length keeping him in position to break up throws that some smaller corners might not be able to get to. Willing run supporter who attacks blocks with aggression.

Negatives:

Has a somewhat linear build, and would like to see him play with a somewhat wider base and a bit more knee-bend. Backpedal is a bit high. Would like to see him use his hands more often to stay connected through the route; coverage looks much tighter when he’s getting his upper body involved. Doesn’t always seem like he fully trusts his instincts. Relatively conservative approach gives passers a chance to hit receivers on timing-based throws. Can struggle to stick with quicker receivers out of their breaks (see fourth-quarter touchdown pass in the 2022 Texas game.) Eagerness to support the run can cause him to get sucked in at times. Not as reliable a tackler as his size and length would suggest.

Summary:

A cornerback whose usage didn’t always seem to play to his strengths during the games reviewed. It seemed like the team wanted him to go with a more conservative approach, but for my money, looked best when he was allowed to line up in press-man and disrupt opponents with his length and physicality. Snap-to-snap consistency wasn’t as impressive as some of the other top corner prospects, but his impressive toolset should allow him to come off the board on the second day.

Projection: Round 2-3

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