The Buccaneers got their man in offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs with the 13th selection in the NFL draft.
The Bucs had to swap picks with the San Francisco 49ers in order to get their man, moving from 14 to 13, but with the 13th pick the Bucs solidified the offensive line for the foreseeable future.
The Bucs as part of the deal sent their 4th round pick to the 49ers and the Bucs picked up a seventh round pick from the 49ers.
The offensive line now looks like this right to left, Tristan Wirfs at right tackle Alex Cappa right guard, Ryan Jensen center, Ali Marpet left guard, and Donavan Smith at left tackle.
The Bucs offensive line was one of the most pressing needs on this team and with the signing of 42 year old Tom Brady, that made the right tackle position all the more important.
Tristan Wirfs is the sixth offensive linemen from Iowa to be taken in the first round.
I had Wirfs as the third best tackle in the draft behind Andrew Thomas, and Jedrick Wills, but with the Jets taking Mekhi Becton at number 11, Wirfs fell to the Bucs at number 13.
Wirfs should be able to come and start right away. Wirfs was the first freshman to start at Iowa since Kirk Ferentz became the head coach, and played at both left and right tackle at Iowa and earning All-American honors in 2019, while also winning the Rimington-Pace Award as the Big Tens best offensive linemen.
Wirfs started 33 games at Iowa in his career, and all 13 games in 2019.
The Bucs are getting a freakish athlete in Wirfs who measures six foot five and 320 pounds. Wirfs was also a high school wrestling, and track and field champion.
Wirfs can leap jump out of a pool and land in a standing position. That is impressive to see.
Kirk Ferentz his college at Iowa worked with Wirfs extensively on keeping his hands higher and his overall footwork. Those appear to be to the two big opportunity areas for Wirfs.
Jason Licht said that he would call those “opportunity areas” and said every single player has areas where they can improve and get better.
Licht said they felt they had to make the trade to make sure they got their man. “There was a chance that someone could come up and get him. We didn’t want to risk it. We had to give up a little capital to go get him, but in this case, we thought because of the position and especially the player, that it was worth it.”
AskIng Tristan Wirfs about his strength’s on a conference last night he said “I think I’m pretty powerful. I think I can move guys off the line of scrimmage. I pull and get into space well and get off the line of scrimmage quickly.
Wirfs brings a physicality and overall nastiness to his game that coaches seem to love. His game does not have a lot of weaknesses.
Wirfs has good speed for a guy his size as he ran a 4.85/40 at the combine.
On a conference call after round one last night Bruce Arians talked about Tristan Wirfs.
“I think he’s coming from a program that’s so similar to what we do, set-wise and pass protections, run-game wise. He’s extremely well-coached. So I think he’s ahead of the curve that way, and that should allow us to put him in the lineup when he is ready. We’re not going to throw him out there until he’s ready.”
On talking about Wirfs athleticism Arians said “I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever seen one do the things that he does athletically as far as numbers. On tape, he’s a powerful, powerful run-blocker, extremely light-footed. You see everything you’re looking for.”
Offensive tackle on the right side had the biggest issue for the Bucs the last few years and now it looks as if the Bucs have locked down that position for the foreseeable future.
With the trading of both fourth round picks in the deal to get Rob Gronkowski, and in the trade with the 49ers last night, the Bucs may look to trade back into the fourth round over the next few days.
The second and third round is tonight and the the Bucs still have a need at running back, and can then start adding some depth on the defensive side of the ball.
I had the Bucs taking Clyde Edwards-Helaire the running back from LSU in the second round at number 45, and defense linemen Davon Hamilton of Ohio State in the third round at 76.
With Edwards-Helaire taken by Kansas City at the end of teh first round, It looks as if Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin or Andre Swift of Georgia could be taken by the Bucs in the second round.