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Mel Kiper Has Detroit Lions Selecting CB T.J. Tampa in Latest 2024 NFL Mock Draft

As the 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Combine kicks into gear in Indianapolis, the Detroit Lions, along with other franchises, are in pursuit of the next wave of talent that will shape the future of the NFL. Within this context of anticipation and high stakes, NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper has made his latest predictions, spotlighting Iowa State cornerback T.J. Tampa as the 29th overall pick for the Lions in the first round.

Mel Kiper Detroit Lions 2023 NFL Mock Draft

Why Kiper Picks Tampa for the Lions

Kiper’s choice of Tampa for the Lions is particularly striking against the backdrop of prevailing expert opinions. T.J. Tampa stands out not only for his potential but also for the immediate impact Kiper believes he can bring to the team. “Here’s a corner who might be going a little under the radar,” Kiper suggests, emphasizing Tampa’s day-one readiness and extensive exposure to nearly 900 coverage snaps in college.

Here’s a corner who might be going a little under the radar. Tampa can start for a team from day one. He played nearly 900 coverage snaps for the Cyclones, and he saw every route. After giving up four touchdown passes as the nearest defender in coverage in 2021, he allowed only three in the next two seasons. He made a massive improvement in 2023. Although Tampa had only three interceptions in college, I think he could be more productive in the NFL.

Detroit, as I wrote in my mock draft in January, struggled in the secondary last season, ranking 30th in passing yards allowed to receivers (3,081). This is where it can get an instant starter.

Tampa’s Collegiate Performance

Tampa has demonstrated notable growth throughout his time with the Cyclones. From allowing four touchdown passes in 2021, he improved significantly to permit only three in the subsequent two seasons. Despite a college career that saw him notch up only three interceptions, Kiper sees a player whose best days are ahead of him, especially within the professional ranks.

Lions’ Secondary Needs

The Detroit Lions faced considerable challenges in their secondary last season, ranking 30th in the league in terms of passing yards allowed to receivers. This vulnerability makes the cornerback position a critical area of focus for the team in the upcoming draft, with Kiper viewing Tampa as the key to revitalizing Detroit’s defensive backfield.

TL;DR (too long didn’t read)

  1. T.J. Tampa is highlighted by Mel Kiper Jr. as a potential first-round pick for the Detroit Lions at No. 29.
  2. Tampa’s extensive experience and marked improvement in coverage at Iowa State underline his readiness for the NFL.
  3. The Lions’ need for a robust cornerback is acute, following a season where their secondary struggled significantly.
Mel Kiper

The Bottom Line – A Strategic Fit

Should Kiper’s projection materialize, T.J. Tampa’s drafting by the Detroit Lions could significantly shore up a secondary in dire need of reinforcement. As the NFL continues to evolve into a pass-centric league, the value of a proficient cornerback cannot be overstated. Tampa’s potential addition to the Lions could be a pivotal move, addressing a glaring need while setting the stage for a more competitive defensive stance in future seasons.

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W.G. Brady
W.G. Brady is a Detroit-based journalist who has been covering the Detroit sports scene for Detroit Sports Nation for several years. He is in his early 30s and has a wealth of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, W.G. has established himself as a respected and knowledgeable journalist known for his in-depth coverage of the teams and athletes in Detroit. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for sports, W.G. has become a go-to source for fans and readers looking for the latest news and analysis on the Detroit sports scene. He has a good reputation in the sports community and is respected for his unbiased coverage of sports events. W.G. is known for his ability to uncover hidden stories and provide unique perspectives on the teams and athletes he covers. He has a good understanding of the city of Detroit and its sports culture, which he uses to inform his reporting and analysis. He continues to be a respected journalist in the Detroit sports industry.

Detroit Lions urged to sign Zach Cunningham

Detroit Lions urged to sign former NFL tackle leader.

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There are a quite a few players the Detroit Lions will consider at No. 29.

Jared Goff Criticizes Detroit Lions Media: No Longer Underdogs

Jared Goff Criticizes Detroit Lions Media for consistent negativity about the team.