Buccaneers Tried To Trade Up Higher For Tristan Wirfs

A large part of the reason the Buccaneers were able to pull off their Super Bowl run was the stellar protection Tom Brady got throughout the playoffs. One of the main reasons Tampa’s O-line saw so much improvement this year was the drafting of right tackle Tristan Wirfs in the first-round last April. 

The Bucs traded with the 49ers to move up one spot in the draft from 14th to 13th and select Wirfs. Speaking on a recent episode of the Pewter Report Podcast, Bucs GM Jason Licht revealed he tried to trade up much higher to get his guy.

I was stunned,” Licht said about Wirfs slipping that far to them. “I saw him starting to fall. I was trying to go and get him, well, even higher than nine and nobody wanted to make any deals and I think we made the first trade of the pandemic at-home draft.” Licht explained how he believed there was another team below them looking to trade with the 49ers and take Wirfs. Fortunately for Bucs fans, Licht says San Francisco was worried they’d miss out on Javon Kinlaw if they moved much lower than 14th, so they took the deal from Tampa.

Licht wanted to move into the top ten, but ultimately only had to give up a fourth-rounder to move up the one spot. Had he succeeded in getting into the top nine picks or so, he would’ve had to part with a lot more draft capital than that.

Wirfs ended up being one of the best rookies in the league this season, and looks like he’ll be a high-end starter for many years to come.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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18 comments on “Buccaneers Tried To Trade Up Higher For Tristan Wirfs

  1. joshmorris

    Wanted the Giants to take him sooooooo bad. But, no, they just HAD to reach on Andrew Thomas. Pathetic.

    • Perksy

      I know it. Aside from Lawrence most of the Gettleman first round picks have been questionable.

    • amk1920

      Gettleman must have dirt on the Giants owner. How this man has not been fired is insane.

      • dan55

        To be fair, some of Gettleman’s most criticized moves have proven to be brilliant in hindsight. Daniel Jones is clearly the second-best quarterback from his draft, and OBJ has struggled since he got traded to Cleveland.

        • I’m sorry, are you calling Daniel Jones at #6 ‘brilliant in hindsight’? I’m definitely not a Jones hater and think he could be useful with better protection and receivers, but that was and still is a massive blunder.

          And I would not call his OBJ trade ‘brilliant in hindsight’, either. Potentially could have gotten more, and I say this as someone who likes Lawrence and Peppers.

          • Ak185

            Considering the other players available, which QB would you have taken that was available? Using the information available then, that is?

            People did want to move on from Manning quite badly. It was either stick with him for another year (which would have been unpopular), or draft a QB that year. So, who would you have picked?

            Gettleman has made plenty of bad moves (LT signings, CB drafting, and coach hiring, for instance), but this is the year that will tell us about Jones. In any case, the choice remains the same. Who would you have picked, if not Jones?

            • Sorry for the long post, but, they could have:

              A) not drafted a QB and signed a veteran stopgap. You don’t have to draft a QB if none of them are skilled enough to draft.

              B) traded back and drafted him later on in the first round. Haskins was the only other QB taken (15th) after Jones until pick 42 (Drew Lock).

              C) drafted for any of the other positions they needed at #6 (there were a million holes in the roster) and then drafted Jones at #17. Or, failing that, Haskins at #17, who isn’t much worse than Jones. Or someone else at #17. Or loaded up on positional needs (again, there were a ton) and drafted a QB in a later round. Gardner Minshew, for example, has played better than Jones and was a 6th rounder.

              I personally would have done A) and partial C). Sign a vet stopgap, use your picks on other positions, maybe draft a QB in the later round, maybe not (and wait until the following season).

              I get that the jury is somewhat still out on Jones (I personally think he does have some potential), but to call it ‘brilliant in hindsight’ is way, way off. Gettleman made a massive blunder drafting Jones at 6th overall.

        • brandons-3

          Wait what? Two years in its clear Jones will never be “that guy” in this league. He’s good and talented enough to bounce around for the next decade, sure. But you don’t invest #6 for that kind of player and you certainly don’t get points for him being the second best QB in his draft.

          They made a mistake drafting Jones, but are they going to admit it? Hell no because that’s just how some teams want to be. Gettleman will rather be fired going down with “his guy” than admit he squandered a top-6 pick.

          Hats off to the teams like Arizona, Washington, LA Rams, and maybe Philly who admitted they made a bad investment and moved on rather than wait to be shown the door themselves.

        • petersdylan36

          Not to beat a dead horse… but that’s not saying much to call Jones the second best qb taken in the draft. That draft for qbs was pretty weak.
          Imagine they take another position of need and then in 2020, they would have the opportunity to draft Tua or even better, Herbert.

        • joshmorris

          Dude, no. Both your points are made with blinders on. People we clamoring for a QB in 2018 when Gettleman took over, but he stubbornly thought the Giants could win and took Saquon as a win now piece to help Eli. Same draft Josh Allen and Lamar went in. Then, when that season predictably went horribly wrong, they reached on Jones in 2019, which wasn’t a “brilliant decision” simply bc Haskins turned out worse. Lastly, if he was so convinced about OBJ, why did he sign him to a massive extension, then trade him 1 year in and incur a huge amount of dead money?

          • Perksy

            I know a lot of “ifs” but Giants could have easily taken Quentin Nelson (who will wear the gold jacket) in 2018 at #2, the. Then taken Nick Chubb in the 2nd round since Cleveland would have grabbed Barkley at #4. In 2019 Gmen should have taken pass rusher Josh Allen, followed by anyone else like a OT after Lawrence instead of Baker. Like someone said in those 2 years a stop gap at QB, and then in 2020 Justin Herbert. It’s a lot of ifs and should haves but shows you Gettlemans mistakes for not hitting on more of these early round picks. A rebuilding team with so many top half picks should not miss on so many, and should not have cap troubles being such a young team.

    • Keving99

      I think you guys are forgetting that shurmur pushed for DJ. It was time to get a QB and they picked Daniel Jones because shurmur liked him and they felt he had the perfect personality and character to be the franchise QB and they were never going to find someone again with that same character. And now with Joe Judge sticking firm with Jones he must be a fit to the team. However, I am a Danny Dimes fan and I believe in him and if he turns out to be a top QB and leads the team to success in the future who cares where he was selected. I wasn’t sure of gettleman either but after getting James Bradberry, Blake Martinez and Leonard Williams actually playing good for us idk. At least he’s Way better than jerry Reese that’s all I can say

  2. ruckus727

    The Wirfs-Winfield picks was in my opinion one of the best 1-2s in the last few years. I believe they got a steal on Tyler Johnson in the 5th as well. I’m looking forward to seeing more Keyshawn Vaughn and Kahlil Davis next season. This could turn into one of the best classes in team history.

    • jay13

      I agree the Bucs had one of my favorite drafts as far as filling needs with great talent. Wirfs was a monster and showed he belongs.

      @ruckus has it right too, Tyler Johnson could be a stud in the waiting. TB doesn’t need a RB like most of these experts are saying.

  3. twentyforty

    Stellar protection means officials refusing to call offensive holding. Fixed it for you.

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