Growing up less than 30 minutes from the University of Iowa it had to be a dream for Wirfs to get a scholarship offer from Iowa as he committed to the Hawkeyes during his junior year. From there Wirfs continued to excel winning a state championship in wrestling and track and field along with being named an Army All American. Upon arriving at Iowa Wirfs lucidly made his mark seeing action as a true freshman and even starting 7 games as the right tackle. After an impressive sophomore season Tristian Wirfs enters his third year as a starter as one of the top NFL Draft eligible tackles and is looking to continue to improve. Here is a look at this talented tackle.
In Pass Protection
The days of having a big plodding right tackle who was known more for being a run blocker are gone and teams need athletic tackles on both sides as NFL teams are loaded with elite pass rushers who come off that right side. That is the case here with Tristian Wirfs as his lateral agility and quickness allow him to not only slide with defenders but get the depth needed to cut off the corner.
Using his quickness he’s able to burst off the line and get into position and then use that lateral agility to mirror the pass rusher if he tries to redirect or try to use a misdirection as a part of their pass rushing mover. Even if the defender is able to get to the edge, Wirfs is able to use his length well to push the defender past the pocket. Wirfs shows good knee bend and pad level which combined with hand placement allow him to keep defenders off his body. With impressive weight room numbers it would really benefit Wirfs to be able to translate that strength in his pass protection where he could stand to be more powerful.
As a Run Blocker
Wirfs uses his athletic ability well in run blocking as he’s able to get into the correct position to make blocks while showing some strength to attack the defenders. Wirfs isn’t going to smash heads and drive defenders off the block on a play in and play out basis but he does show some functional strength to lock onto defenders to occupy them while also flashing the ability to steer defenders to seal them off. Wirfs has a ton of potential but could really use his junior year to clean up some of his technique which could allow him to utilize his weight room strength on a more consistent basis.
NFL Draft Outlook
The need for offensive lineman is great in the NFL and especially at right tackle where so many top pass rushers are coming from. Wirfs has the advantage because of his lateral agility and length but he’ll need to showcase his strength better as a guy like Montez Sweat was able to win at times against him using power. That being said Wirfs has all the potential in the world and continued development should put him into the first round but he also has top 15 potential.