Wiggins, Tampa could play key roles for Ravens at cornerback

OWINGS MILLS — The Ravens selected two cornerbacks in the 2024 NFL draft, and they are each making quick adjustments to the NFL.

The Ravens selected Nate Wiggins with the 30th overall pick and they think he can be a lockdown defender who can play inside or outside in the secondary.

T.J. Tampa fell to them in the fourth round, and he is a more physical player who can take wide receivers out of the play.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh likes that the players have different styles and expects both to play their way into the rotation.

“Now when you look at the roster, you kind of evaluate that from the perspective of, ‘we have both these guys, and who are they? How do we use their talents?'” Harbaugh said. “They’re both long and rangy. They both use their hands really well in press. They both can move really well. But, obviously, they’re just a little different in their style of play.

“T.J. [Tampa]’s very physical, very physical with his hands. [He] plays all the split-safety stuff on the edge really well, also. I think it’s going to factor into how we build our defense.” 

Wiggins, 6 feet 1, 183 pounds, played in 34 games (18 starts) over three years at Clemson, totaling 60 tackles (49 solo), three tackles for a loss, one sack, three interceptions – including two returned for touchdowns – two forced fumbles, 21 passes defensed and one blocked field goal.

His biggest adjustment is that players can’t touch the receiver after five yards in the NFL. In college, a defensive back can touch the player all the way down the field.

 “Really, just the tempo of practice – it’s quicker, faster,” Wiggins said. “Everything moves at a faster speed.” 

Tampa, 6-1 185 pounds, was widely regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in the nation last season at Iowa State. In 2023, he started all 12 games during the regular season and earned First-Team All-Big 12 honors, finishing with 44 tackles, including three for a loss, with two interceptions and seven pass breakups. He allowed just one touchdown in his last 497 coverage snaps.

Tampa said attention to detail is one of his biggest adjustments

“Just going through a whole different new scheme,” he said. “Everything I learned in college was all I knew [about] playing corner, so just going with a whole new scheme and a whole new coach is probably the only difference.”

The Ravens need depth behind the starters Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Stephen and the team is confident Wiggins and Tampa will provide the support. Wiggins and Tampa were roommates during rookie minicamp this past weekend.

“We already know each other, so we would just connect from the Combine,” Wiggins said. “It just makes it way easier.” 

Trending Stories

Get daily coverage of the Ravens and Orioles from Peter Schmuck, Rich Dubroff and Todd Karpovich — from the press box to your inbox. 100% free. Unsubscribe at any time.



BaltimoreSports.com is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the Baltimore Orioles or the Baltimore Ravens. USA Today Sports Digital Properties Partner.

To Top