2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: T.J. Tampa




  • T.J. Tampa Jr., 6-1/189
  • Cornerback
  • Iowa State

T.J. Tampa Jr. Scouting Report

By Charlie Campbell

Strengths:

  • Excellent height
  • Good length
  • Good ball reaction
  • Strong finisher
  • Flashes some instincts
  • Able to battle big receivers
  • Doesn’t panic when the ball is thrown at him
  • Quality ball skills
  • Physical
  • Plays the ball
  • Good tackler
  • Willing run defender
  • Ball skills
  • Adept at slapping passes away
  • Made plays in the clutch
  • Supports run defense

Weaknesses:

  • Lacks speed
  • Deep speed could be a problem for him
  • Can get shaken and juked by receivers
  • Lacks short-area quickness
  • Lacks recovery speed
  • Can be beaten over the top

Prospect Summary:

During the past two seasons, Tampa came through with some clutch plays for Iowa State. In 2022 he had a respectable year with 39 tackles, nine passes defended and one interception. Tampa’s final collegiate season was similar, with 44 tackles, two interceptions and seven passes broken up.

For the NFL, Tampa is a press-man corner to play on the outside and line up against big receivers. Tampa has some ball skills alongside height and length, plus is a good tackler. He gets very physical with receivers and use his length to jam them at the line. Tampa does a nice job of battling wideouts while avoiding penalties. However, there is no doubt that Tampa should be protected from lining up against speed receivers as a pro. Tampa lacks deep speed, and if a receiver gets free of him, he does not have the speed to recover. Tampa has some stiffness in changing direction as well.

Tampa is a tough and hard tackler who will contribute in run defense. With his physicality and aggressive demeanor, he will fire to ball-carriers to make tackles.

Some in the media have projected Tampa to be a late first-rounder, but multiple team sources said they had him graded as a third- or fourth-round pick for the 2024 NFL Draft.

Prospect Comparison:

Sean Smith. In some ways, Tampa reminds me of Smith. Like Smith, there is good size alongside speed concerns. Smith was a second-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, and Tampa could go as high as Round 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft, but he might be more likely to be a third- or fourth-round pick. Tampa could have a similar pro career to Smith.





RELATED LINKS:




2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 9


NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22


Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19


NFL Picks - Feb. 12