Ravens pull off crazy heist with Iowa State's T.J. Tampa: Instant grade and analysis

Tampa is one of the best picks in the draft
Iowa State v Cincinnati
Iowa State v Cincinnati / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Eric DeCosta and the Baltimore Ravens continued to crush it during the 2024 NFL Draft, as they added yet another defensive back regarded as one of the best players still on the board. With the No. 130 pick in the draft, the Ravens selected Iowa State cornerback TJ Tampa.

The Ravens pulled off one of the biggest steals of the 2024 NFL Draft when they used the No. 113 pick on North Carolina wide receiver Tez Walker. They also kicked off the draft by taking one of the best defensive players at any position in Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins.

Ozzie Newsome was always willing to bring in as many defensive backs as possible, and DeCosta is adhering to that philosophy by selecting a player many assumed would not make it out of the second round with one of the final picks in the fourth round. In terms of value, the Ravens couldn't do much better.

The fact Tampa was available at this point in the draft was a minor miracle, and Baltimore was not going to let a premier talent like this slip through their grasp. The Ravens will be one of the toughest teams in the league to throw on next season

Ravens NFL Draft grade for T.J. Tampa: A+

Tampa allowed just one touchdown during his final season at Iowa State. While he lacks elite long speed and can be extremely hit-or-miss as a tackler, everything about Tampa's profile suggests he will be an impactful cover corner who thrives in Baltimore's system alongside Wiggins.

Tampa is a 6-2, 190-pound cornerback with long arms, great intuition in both man and zone coverage, and physicality at the line of scrimmage. When he gets a clean shot, Tampa can be one of the hardest-hitting defensive backs in the class to go along with exemplary deep coverage skills.

The Ravens currently have two starting corners in the veteran Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Stephens, but it seems like both Wiggins and Tampa will be seeing time regularly in packages with five or six defensive backs on the field. Tampa has all the tools needed to become a starting cornerback in the pros if everything goes well.

Tampa and Wiggins could be the Ravens' top duo in the secondary for years to come if both of them manage to reach their full potential. DeCosta has drafted well in the past, but he is going above and beyond this year.