Quality offensive line talent is hard to come by in today’s NFL, but this year’s class is surprisingly strong in that area. Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, potentially, could be the first one off the board.
At 6’5″ and 320 pounds, Wirfs offers uncommon athleticism for his size. Wirfs put those skills to good use for the Hawkeyes, earning Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year honors in 2019. In college, he primarily lined up at right tackle, though he also offers experience on the left side, and some say that he can also work on the interior as a pro.
With a reported 40-yard-dash time of 4.85 seconds and a 625-pound max squat, Wirfs has scouts drooling over his potential. Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and Alabama’s Jedrick Wills Jr. are also pushing to be the first tackle selected, but Wirfs is widely viewed as the most NFL-ready of the bunch.
In all likelihood, the Bengals will kick off the draft by selecting LSU’s Joe Burrow, followed by the Redskins grabbing elite defensive end Chase Young at No. 2. The Lions, at No. 3, are entertaining offers to trade down; any team that moves up will probably use that choice to take a quarterback, or something other than an offensive lineman. But, Wirfs, Wills, and Thomas are all thought to be possibilities for the Giants at No. 4, provided that they don’t move back in the order.
A trade down would make sense for the G-Men, who are also on the hunt for pass rushers, centers, and safeties. However, history suggests that Dave Gettleman will be inclined to stand pat – in five drafts with the Panthers, and two drafts with the Giants, he’s never moved down from his first-round pick. Even if he passes on Wirfs, the Iowa standout won’t have far to fall. The Cardinals have some serious holes to plug on the O-Line as they aim to protect Kyler Murray – with the ability to play on the inside and outside, the No. 8 pick may represent Wirfs’ floor.
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