Why Is T.J. Tampa Still Available in the 2024 NFL Draft? Iowa State CB’s Draft Stock Sees Him Fall Out of Day 2

T.J. Tampa earned Day 2 projections before the 2024 NFL Draft. Now, those in the NFL world are scratching their heads wondering why he's falling.

Iowa State cornerback T.J. Tampa enters Day 3 of the NFL Draft as one of the best players available, regardless of position.

Tampa was not included in the run on cornerbacks and defensive players in Rounds 2 and 3 of the NFL Draft after only nine defenders were drafted on Thursday night.

Update: T.J. Tampa was ultimately selected by the Baltimore Ravens with the 130th pick in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

NFL Universe Stunned T.J. Tampa Is Still Available

Tampa is widely considered to be one of the top prospects, if not the top prospect, remaining on the board.

PFN’s NFL Draft Analyst Ian Cummings has Tampa as his highest remaining prospect available. Here is what he had to say about the talented CB.

“In a class where many of the top-rated CB prospects are closer to average size, T.J. Tampa stands out as an impressive size-adjusted athlete with stellar length and disruptive reach. He has an impressive playmaking radius with his combined length and recovery speed, and his attack explosiveness is in a tier of its own.”

Tampa was also listed as Cummings’ 7th-ranked CB in this draft, behind guys like Mike Sainristil, Nate Wiggins, and more.

KEEP READING: PFN’s Best Remaining Prospects

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., who had Tampa ranked as his No. 38 overall prospect, posted that Tampa is his top available player.

The New York Jets have the No. 111 overall pick, which will be the 11th pick in the fourth round. Running back Breece Hall, who the Jets drafted in 2022 out of Iowa State, posted that Tampa will be the steal of the draft.

Why Is T.J. Tampa Still Available?

While analysts, fans, and even current players take to social media to cast their support for Tampa, there has to be a reason why his draft stock tumbled. Right? Maybe not.

In Tampa’s scouting report, Cummings marveled at his length and vertical explosiveness, labeling him as a top-64 prospect on the board.

“With his high-end physical talent, playmaking ability, and physicality in support, Tampa can adequately meet several schematic demands,” Cummings wrote.

Of course, no prospect is perfect, but Tampa’s flaws seem fixable. Cummings explains that he could use more game experience as a press-man cornerback and that he does not have elite long speed or fluidity. However, Tampa has the foot speed, twitch, and natural length needed to combat those weaknesses.

Tampa didn’t run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Rather, he worked out at Iowa State’s Pro Day – he ran a 4.59, which tilts on the slower side for defensive backs, but his 6’2″ frame might make up for that.

It’s not like Tampa is that old of a prospect, either. He just turned 22 years old in March and played four seasons of college football with the Cyclones. He amassed over 100 career tackles and three interceptions, with two of those coming last season, proving that he’s still a prospect on the rise.

Because of his upside, expect Tampa to be one of the first players selected when Round 4 begins on Saturday afternoon.

KEEP READING: NFL Draft Grades 2024

The Carolina Panthers have the first pick in Round 4, and cornerback is a position of need. New GM Dan Morgan traded top cornerback Donte Jackson to the Steelers for Diontae Johnson, so Carolina could conceivably use this selection to add to their secondary.

Whichever team decides to draft Tampa on Day 3 is getting great value, as the once-projected-second-rounder will be motivated to outshine his draft stock.

Looking for everything you need surrounding the 2024 NFL Draft? Make sure to check out the latest draft results, overall team grades, and updated best remaining players available at every position!

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