The Big Board: Wirfs Still Among The Top Picks
Former Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs is still high on everybody's NFL mock drafts.
"Joe Douglas continues the Mike Maccagnan streak of luck, having star players fall to you in the draft," Orr writes. "Wirfs could easily be the first offensive lineman off the board, but he fits in beautifully with a Jets team that is desperate for help up front. After whiffing on Jack Conklin to begin free agency, the Jets can pair Wirfs with George Fant on the edges, and at least work their way back to replacement-level as a unit."
Orr doesn't have Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa going in the first round, but others do.
"This is the first pick of the draft where I think the team that’s on the clock is in a tricky situation," writes PFF's Sam Monson. "The Chargers can’t (or shouldn’t) love Justin Herbert enough to take him here, and a player like Isaiah Simmons is a touch redundant in their defense. But they still have holes on the offensive line, so they try and solve their left tackle situation with Tristan Wirfs. Few players have had the kind of Combine performance that Wirfs did. He also showed a steady improvement in PFF grade in college, culminating in an overall mark of 91.8 last season for the Hawkeyes."
Monson has the Green Bay Packers taking Epenesa at No. 30.
"The Packers could easily take a linebacker here, but linebackers make less of an impact than they used to, and so they’re looking to the defensive line, instead," writes Monson. "A.J. Epenesa probably consigned himself to life inside at the NFL level with a pedestrian Combine performance, but that shouldn’t worry anybody because he has the skills to be very effective there. He has the skillset that compares well to players like Trey Flowers, who was also very underrated coming out of college, and he could slot in next to Kenny Clark and be a real difference-maker for the Packers up front."
NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah has Wirfs going at No. 4 to the New York Giants. He has Epenesa going at No. 23 to the New England Patriots.