Determining Wirfs’ Position

April 13th, 2020

Where does he play?

A former general manager who has a bust in Canton believes Iowa offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs will be a solid NFL starter for a long time and is ready to start now.

But where he starts is another question.

Recently, Pro Football Hall of Fame GM Bill Polian named the top offensive linemen in the draft while co-hosting “Late Hits.” Polian has high regard for Wirfs.

“He put up some surprising numbers [at the combine],” Polian said. “The only knock on him is he didn’t play Ohio State last year so he didn’t play against Chase Young. So what? He did well against everybody he played.

“He is a guy that has got some question about whether he can handle outstanding speed rushers. Does he have enough quickness and enough ability to get back there and be able to handle speed rushers right out of the box?”

Polian added that if Wirfs struggles to handle speed rushers, the solution is simple: Move him to guard where he may be a better fit.

“If he has difficulty with [speed rushers] it will be chronic and he will move to guard, where he will be a sensational guard,” Polian said. “He will be a sensational guard. I see a lot of Ryan Diem in this guy. Ryan Diem played right tackle at a very high level for us in Indianapolis for a long time.”

Diem was a durable 11-year starter for the Colts, eight of those years he started at least 14 games.

“I see a lot of Ryan Diem in this player,” Polian continued. “He mixes it up. He is tough. He is physical. And more importantly, he comes from Iowa.”

Polian has spoken several times how much he likes offensive linemen who play for Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and how well they are coached up. Ferentz, for those unaware, was Bill Belicheat’s offensive line coach in Cleveland.

“Iowa develops offensive linemen like nobody else in college football! Polian yelped. “So he’s already been well-coached. One thing you can say is, he will not get any better coaching at the pro level than he got at Iowa. He is ready to play in the National Football League.”

Iowa offensive line products have a knock on them with some NFL personnel people as already hitting their ceiling when they enter the draft.

“I don’t believe in ceiling but some say [he is already coached to the max] and that maybe he is a guard,” Polian said. “If so, you’ve got a great guard. The question of where you take him in the first round if you think he is a guard remains to be seen. That’s an issue, but a small one.

“This guy will play and he will play well.”

So the question of whether the Bucs may draft Wirfs in the first round could be around what the Bucs think internally of right guard Alex Cappa, who is entering his third season.

Cappa is a tough SOB. But how good of a guard he is, that’s another story. He certainly improved a lot last year from his rookie season.

Surely if the Bucs draft Wirfs, they will give him a test run at right tackle. But if the Bucs are confident Cappa is a solid player, then they may not draft a guy they don’t know can be a high level right tackle.

16 Responses to “Determining Wirfs’ Position”

  1. ©MadMax Says:

    This kid will make an awesome RT if he can learn the skills and technique of Wills. It’ll take a year or so of coaching and grind. Thats why if Wills is there when we pick, I’d rather have him. Wirfs is big, strong and fast, but Wills has that twitch motor and instinct and is actually faster at the position than Wirfs.

    My choice for #14 if one of the big 4 are there…Wills, Thomas.

  2. ncbucsfan Says:

    Wel how was he against Yetur Gross-Matos out of Penn State? He’s another projected 1st rd Edge guy, but doesn’t have a speed rush.

  3. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I guess I don’t understand, Polian saying Iowa develops O-Linemen and Wirfs is well coached, why does his technique look so bad in the video? I’m sure he’s got good tape too, but he sure looked like a Guard against Penn State.

  4. Sport Says:

    We will have to move up to get him. Not interested in shopping for toys I can’t have. As Joe would say, he’d need to post an Instagram bong hit to fall to us.

    According to Polish the top 4 OL all have warts. Why reach? Let’s see what falls our way. More likely we stay put or get lucky and find a trade partner to stockpile in a deep draft.

    That could net us
    OL depth
    WR #3
    In the first two rounds. Yes Please.

    In BA I Trust!

  5. Sport Says:

    Later rounds
    DL depth
    Secondary Depth

    In BA I Trust!

  6. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Wirfs was getting beat by the same moves in the video, like he was unable to adjust. I hope someone takes him in the picks before us, to be honest.

  7. ©MadMax Says:

    Wills or Wirfs wont fall to us unfortunately….so if the draft plays out and we stay at our positions…heres where I am…

    Thomas (or one of the big 4 for RT)
    Claypool/Van Jefferson (great route runner, 2nd to Jeudy)
    Dugger/Davis for FS (4th)
    DT James Lynch (4th) Baylor
    KR/PR RB Javon Leake (5th) (Maryland)
    QB Bryce Perkins (6th) Virginia

  8. SOEbuc Says:

    Cappa is a tough dude but last year was his first year at OG. We need to find good depth through good competition. Trade back in the first. RT round two and OG/C round four.

  9. ©MadMax Says:

    @Soe, Im all about trading down…maybe a late 1st and get Clyde (before someone else grabs him), then Ezra Cleveland….with our trade down $$, we use that on Claypool or Jefferson…or even Dugger (he’s projected 2nd rd)

  10. Cassidysid Says:

    I’m not the biggest fan off Wirfs. I rather have draft Thomas who can play RT this year then kick over to LT if Smith is let go after next season or if he get hurt. Not knowing if Wirfs can play RT or guard is an issue for me.

    Also not a fan of drafting a RT in the first round where I feel you can get one around the 2nd or 3rd and let them battle Heag for the starting position. Either RB or D-Line would be my idea in the 1st

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    He will be gone……;perhaps one of the four will be there……stay in place or trade down @14…….an extra pick would be great…..but we need RT, RB, S……a 3rd WR would be nice….

  12. TheBradyBunch Says:

    Being that we are looking for a right tackle, we should be able to get one of the second tier guys. I would love to trade back to around 20-25. Take either Jones or Swift in the first depending out who grade out the highest. Another option would be to draft Jones there and use the extra pick and our second to move back into the first. A draft where we got both Jones and Swift in the first round would be just fine with me.

  13. Ian Says:

    What I don’t get is this:

    Cappa played OT in college. He looks like an OT with the tall frame, not wide. I have always wondered why Licht and the coaches did not consider him to be a viable OT and potentially the heir for Dotson.

    Wirfs looks and plays like he could indeed be a better OG than OT at the next level. Now, hear me out….

    Take Wirfs, start him at RG, move Cappa to RT, and give that a shot. I know everybody is sick of Licht moving offensive linemen around, but this just seems to make so much sense.

    I guess we’ll see how it shakes out in the draft and then in camp.

  14. Cassidysid Says:

    IAN- because Cappa has short arms is why they pushed him to RG. Now might he might be able to play a game or 2 in case of injury but he won’t be able to last all season. RG is where he should be and should improve in year 3.

  15. ©MadMax Says:

    Ian, BA has already stated Cappa is a Guard and he’s staying there. And I agree.

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Wills vs. Wirfs