September 29, 2023

Bucs Life

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The versatile Tristan Wirfs takes over the left tackle spot, finally!

3 min read

A wish list item for some time now.

Because of my dislike of the abilities of D. Smith at left tackle, I’ve been hoping Tristan Wirfs would get moved over and take Smith’s job since the day he was drafted. After all, Wirfs played both positions in his Senior season at Iowa and excelled at both. The guy is truly a freak of nature. It’s no surprise he can dominate on either side. The first-round pick of the Bucs was already a top 3 right tackle in the NFL, and no doubt will now probably be the same on the left side in no time.

Two players made this move possible.

2022 second-round draft pick Luke Goedeke, out of Central Michigan, can play the right-side tackle position. Throw into the mix this year’s second-round draft pick out of North Dakota State, Cody Mauch. Not only has Mauch played some left and right tackle, but in the Senior Bowl he slid inside and played guard. He can also play center, so you can see why the Bucs like him so much. He can slide in up and down the line if need be. At worst, you get a high-energy guy with strength that can back up any line position. In short, Licht has done it again. What looked like a possible sore spot has turned into a strength. These two players, more than any other; (besides T. Wirfs), made this switcheroo possible. Expect to see Mr. Wirfs knocking around defensive right tackles and ends here — real soon.

Jason Licht: The jury is out.

There is one thing that this organization must do and do well. Year in and year out, if it wants to get back to firm respectability and a threat in the playoffs. Jason Licht and company must do above average to stellar in every draft for the next three to five seasons and beyond. Champions are built through the draft, and although free agency plays its part, the draft stocks the majority of the team. It’s possible to make a quick turnaround within a few years, being that you do very well in each draft. The Eagles turned it around in less than four seasons. It’s often easy to tell right away with some draft picks that they are going to pay off; with others, it may take several seasons, so the jury is always out. This could end up being another very good draft for our General Manager. Often it is not who is chosen in the first two rounds but rather who is chosen in the next five that will dictate success. In the early rounds, everyone knows who the studs are. It’s identifying the gems in the later rounds that can really pay off — those players more than the early picks — the jury stays out longer for them. In addition, the lower the pick, the less the contract, so getting great contributing talent at a lower price for four seasons (all rookie contracts are 4-years in length) is a bonus as well. Go Bucs!!