“Wirfs Is The One I Got Wrong”

April 11th, 2021

Rookie right tackle phenom Tristan Wirfs.

Tristan Wirfs didn’t just overwhelm the NFL with near perfect play at right tackle as a Bucs rookie last year, he was the catalyst for one draft guru to make a major change.

Wirfs was the fourth tackle selected among the Big 4 in last year’s NFL draft, but he turned out to be the best player among the bunch.

Former Bucs quarterback and Patriots assistant coach Chris Simms is well known to draft-obsessed folks for his many pre-draft breakdowns for NBC Sports. On his Unbuttoned podcast last week, Simms admitted that ”Wirfs is the one I got wrong” when it came to how he evaluated him prior to the 2020 draft.

Simms said he self-scouted his draft analysis over the years and has realized that he was consistently putting too much emphasis on the footwork speed of tackles and he believes NFL scouts and general managers are, too.

Wirfs didn’t have the fastest feet in college, Simms detailed, but footwork shouldn’t become an infatuation. Too many guys with great feet get power-rushed as NFL rookies and end up ”in Row 2.” There should be more balance in evaluating prospects with decent feet complemented by strength, athleticism and consistency.

This is one reason Joe likes Simms as an analyst; he’s often willing to look back and assess where/what he screwed up.

Recently, Joe asked Bucs GM Jason Licht about his unusual draft success on the offensive line and at wide receiver. Licht said he doesn’t think there is any secret sauce, and he added that he believes his staff also have other drafted positions where they’ve been better than most teams.

What everyone can agree on is that this is a very solid draft year for offensive line talent, and Joe would love to see Licht work his magic (play to his strength) and bring home another beast for the offensive line.

Lots of draft talk and more on the latest Ira Kaufman Podcast.

21 Responses to ““Wirfs Is The One I Got Wrong””

  1. Medicated Pete Says:

    Chris Simms has jumped the shark

  2. Swampbuc Says:

    Trenches baby. And edge. And LB and secondary depth. Wild card skill player if someone crazy like a Toney or a Bateman fall.

  3. Cobraboy Says:

    Wirfs was my #1 OL in the 2020 draft, heads and shoulders about the others. How did so many miss Wirfs? I don’t get it. Do they not do their own research without listening to the chattering class? The dude had “monster” written all over him…

  4. BucEmUp Says:

    This is one reason Joe likes Simms as an analyst; he’s often willing to look back and assess where/what he screwed up.

    Imagine one day that we may be lucky enough to have people working for us in Washington with that mindset.

  5. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Simms seems to subtly grind an axe against the Bucs until it’s time to jump aboard the bandwagon. He time in Tampa was in the throes of the Super Bowl 37 hangover. I don’t think he put Brady in his Top 15 QB category last season. Whoops.

  6. Cobraboy Says:

    Simms is still pi$$ed the Bucs cost him a spleen.

  7. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Fact check: Simms put Brady at 15 behind some heavy hitters like Newton, Wentz, Cousins…oh Chrissy!

  8. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    I was reading much of the draft talk / analysis last year prior to the draft…like every other year. As the draft began I was sold on Wirfs and hoped he would fall to the Bucs instead of the other three. Prayers answered. I was and still am kind of wondering though why we felt it neccesary to trade up one spot..who were we afraid was going jump us and pick Wirfs..Did we really need to move up one spot and give up draft capital..? Joe ?

  9. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    Every one was amazed at Bechton’s 40 time, but ignored Wirfs who dominated the combine.

    Curiously Simm’s top safety last year was Antone Winfield Jr. He got that one right. This year’s top safety, Andre Cisco (Syracuse) is bigger, faster and covers better than AWJ.

  10. DoooshLaRue Says:

    So if I’m reading Simms correctly, Durable Donnie must have some of the fastest feet in the NFL?

  11. BucsFanSeffner Says:

    Chris Simms is a whiny bench. He’s still bitter about the end of his football career, and he’s low-key negging the Bucs constantly. Funny, because he wasn’t all that great of a QB even before he ruptured his spleen. He has a tough streak, though, I’ll give him that. He proved it when he kept playing with a busted spleen.

  12. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    It *could* be argued he was the only one to play RIGHT Tackle last year, while the other three were on the left side dealing with quicker dudes.

  13. Buczilla Says:

    Simms has some wacky takes at times, but I still respect his opinion and he’s entertaining. Daniel Jeremiah is probably the only other draft guru that I pay attention to since Chucky stole Mayock away. Mel Kiper?!? C’mon man!

  14. westernbuc Says:

    Simms is the best analyst out there now in big media imho

  15. stpetebucsfan Says:

    The first step in correcting a mistake is recognizing you made a mistake.

    like Joe I give Simms props for this.

  16. Buccan8 Says:

    Simms has been on record as saying his second favorite team is the Bucs (growing up with his Super Bowl-winning dad in NY/NJ would make the Giants his reasonable favorite). I don’t think he has any negativity towards the only team (in 3 rounds) to take a chance on him.

    Had he not ruptured that spleen, I think he would have had a pretty good career here.

  17. SOEbuc Says:

    Asking for a white Wirfs for my upcoming birthday 🥳 🏴‍☠️

  18. adam from ny Says:

    tristan “the wall” wirfs is one of the best things about the bucs 2020 championship season…

    if he was getting run over and run thru early on in the season, who knows how things would have played out for himself, tom brady and the rest of the line…


  19. Trey Long Says:

    Brady hating Simms has said so many
    ridiculous things over the years I’ve lost count.

  20. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    When I read the Wirfs wrestled for Iowa, the best team in the nation, I knew he had incredible balance and would be an all pro in a few year. He was my #1 pick for a tackle last year.

  21. #1bucsfan Says:

    Agreed JOE. Deff should add a dev./starter type kinda like cappa to the oline. Cappa didn’t start his rookie year I think. Has a year to sit and develop. We need to do the same thing to DL LB and QB I know we got Tom but the dude might or might not player till 90 but we gotta still develop for the future while going for 2 this year