The Iowa State Cyclones finished under .500 for the first time since 2016, winning only one of nine Big 12 games in 2022. Head coach Matt Campbell once again produced a top-20 defensive unit, but replacing offensive stars Brock Purdy and Breece Hall proved to be impossible. The Cyclones are set to be young once again this season, with one lone 2024 NFL Draft prospect.
Iowa State Cyclones Roster and Depth Chart Changes
While the transfer portal has allowed many coaches to add a slew of veteran players who can theoretically help more right away than young, inexperienced, and less physically developed players, Campbell hasn’t taken the approach that his peers have.
Iowa State only added four players from the portal while losing 10. None of the transfers added are in their final year of eligibility.
The Cyclones are returning a relatively high number of production from 2022 but are still young across their offense and defense. Seven offensive starters will be seniors, with five along the offensive line and tight end positions. Iowa State’s defense, meanwhile, only has three seniors set to start.
This is a big reason why the Cyclones now only have one NFL Draft prospect for 2024. Nevertheless, their one could go higher than many believe.
Iowa State NFL Draft Prospects
T.J. Tampa, CB
At 6’1, almost 200 pounds, and projected to run a low 4.4 40-yard dash, T.J. Tampa is one of the best few cornerback prospects in the entire Big 12. He came into his own in 2022, earning preseason All-Big 12 honors heading into this fall.
Though he has only one career interception, Tampa is a very talented coverage option thanks to his physical traits. Capable in both man and zone assignments, Tampa is regularly in a great position to challenge receivers at the catch point. While his patience and footwork are advanced enough to stay in the receiver’s hip pockets throughout the duration of routes, his speed is a neutralizer for when he does fall behind.
Tampa’s athleticism is NFL-caliber. But there are areas where he can elevate his game from the late Day 2 to early Day 3 range.
Tampa’s too quick to turn his hips during his backpedal, allowing receivers to adjust on option routes or take advantage when he guesses incorrectly. He’s also prone to taking poor angles in the run game, where he has the right aggression but misdiagnoses the angles he can make work.
Iowa State Cyclones Schedule
- Week 1
- Week 2
Sept. 2: vs. Northern Iowa Panthers
- Week 3
Sept. 9: vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
- Week 4
Sept. 16: at Ohio Bobcats
- Week 5
Sept. 23: vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
- Week 6
Sept. 30: at Oklahoma Sooners
- Week 7
Oct. 7: vs. TCU Horned Frogs
- Week 8
Oct. 14: at Cincinnati Bearcats
- Week 9
- Week 10
Oct. 28: at Baylor Bears
- Week 11
Nov. 4: vs. Kansas Jayhawks
- Week 12
Nov. 11: at BYU Cougars
- Week 13
Nov. 18: vs. Texas Longhorns
- Week 14
Nov. 25: at Kansas State Wildcats
- Week 15
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