Well, Day 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft is in the books and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to fill their biggest position of need with one of the best players at that position with their first-round pick.
I have to admit, I wasn’t happy about the way that first round played out initially. The Giants made Georgia’s Anthony Thomas the first offensive tackle off the board with their 4th pick. Then the Browns took Alabama’s Jedrick Wills with their 10th pick. And the Jets followed them up by taking Louisville’s Mekhi Becton with their 11th pick. My top three offensive tackles were gone in the first eleven picks. Only Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs was left out of that top tier tackle group with the Raiders on the clock and the Niners picking next just before the Bucs.
It wasn’t looking good.
Jason Licht said that they were worried about another team trading up to the Niners 13th pick to grab Wirfs, so they decided to offer up their other fourth-round pick to John Lynch to move up one spot to ensure that they got the tackle they wanted. It was a “No risk it, no biscuit!” type of situation, as Bruce Arians would say.
Now, in case you haven’t heard this from me yet, I DESPISE TRADING UP IN THE DRAFT! I hate losing draft picks. And this trade cost the Bucs a valuable mid-round pick. However, it did land them one of those top four tackles that none of us thought would still be there when the Bucs went on the clock. So it’s kind of hard to be upset about what Tampa did here.
So who is Tristan Wirfs?
Well, he’s a 6’5″/322lb athletic freak of nature who somehow ran a 4.86 forty at the NFL Combine earlier this year and vertical jumps OUT of 4′ deep pools for fun (if you haven’t seen that YouTube video, I suggest you watch it). He wasn’t the most technically sound offensive tackle in this draft, but his physical gifts are undeniable. He rewrote the weight room record books at Iowa and that strength and power are on full display as a run blocker. He has tree trunks for legs, which allows him to anchor extremely well in pass protection. He does have some technique issues to work out as a pass protector, but Bucs coaches Harold Goodwin and Joe Gilbert should be able to help him there. Wirfs also brings some versatility with experience playing both left AND right tackle at Iowa. Some scouts also projected him to be an All-Pro type guard, if a team decided to play him there as the Redskins did with Brandon Scherff a few years ago.
In conclusion, the Bucs landed one of the premier offensive tackles in this draft to take over for Demar Dotson on that right side and protect their new quarterback Tom Brady.
It was a good day for Tampa Bay!
Now, what do they do on Day 2? I think they’ll get Tom some more help on offense with a new running back and maybe a new receiver as well. The Bucs have the 45th pick and the 76th pick on Day 2 as of right now, but that could all change in the blink of an eye. There is a ton of the first-round talent left on the board at all different positions, so it will be interesting to see if the Bucs draft for “need” or if they simply take the best player available.
Until then, as always, GO BUCS!!!