After an already massively successful pre-season, the Buccaneers continued their process with the selection of Tristan Wirfs with the 13th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. The 6’5″, 320 Pounds OL out of Iowa will likely fill the void left by departing right tackle Demar Dotson and protect new QB Tom Brady.
Wirfs started 32 games in three years at Iowa, playing both left and right tackle, and was named Big Ten offensive lineman of the year. Wirfs is a dominating powerful player, with impressive mobility for his size, as evidenced by his winning a state wrestling title in college
Tristan Wirfs will anchor the line
At just 21 years old, Wirfs still has a lot of growing to do. Looking at his development from 2018 to 2019 we see a marked improvement in the use of his hands, angles, and awareness of second-level delayed blitzes.
While already a bulldozer in the run game, Wirfs has some issues with consistency when it comes to his blocking and hand usage. He has a tendency to not unleash everything on every block, and this could lead to issues at the next level.
However, given the development we’ve seen in Tristan Wirfs game in the last season, it’s safe to assume this is something that will be added to his game without much problem. His underlying skills, talent, and work rate at just 21 have his upside off the charts.
His athleticism allows him to get to the second level, his light feet, body control, and posture will make him a dynamic run blocker at the next level, and a versatile pass blocker.
Wirfs’ only red flag stems from a DWI arrest in July 2018 when police stopped him and two passengers on a motor scooter. Wirfs’ registered a .129 blood-alcohol level and was suspended for one game. There have been no further incidents and it seems it was just the exuberance of youth and nothing major.
With Dotson testing free agency for the first time in his career, the Bucs decided instead to select the mauler Tristan Wirfs to solidify the line for years to come. It is a smart and long-term approach to strengthen one of the key areas of successful teams.