Tristan Wirfs played all three years he attended the University of Iowa. He was a right tackle for all three seasons, though he did play left tackle for three games this past season while Alaric Jackson was injured. Wirfs wasn't a full time left tackle because Iowa determined Jackson could only play left tackle and they wanted their best five linemen on the field.
Wirfs is the first true freshman to start at offensive tackle during the time Kirk Ferentz has been their head coach. In high school, he was a state champion wrestler and thrower in both shot and discus.
Age: 21 (Born January 24th, 1999)
Height: 6'4 7/8"
Weight: 320 lbs
40-Yard Dash: 4.85
Broad Jump: 10'1"
Vertical Jump: 36.5"
3-Cone Drill: 7.65
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.68
Bench Press: 24 Reps
Wirfs is nothing short of a spectacular athlete. He set explosion records at the combine with his jumps and his speed is incredible. His agility isn't as good, but it's more than adequate. His height isn't quite prototypical and he looks like a guard in terms of his body, but he's an elite athlete and there's nothing that prevents him from being a top of the line tackle. His age is another factor in his favor.
Wirfs is an aggressive run blocker with remarkable strength at the point of attack and consistently works to finish opponents. His explosion off the ball is impressive and he can be in chest of the opponent and driving them off the ball in the blink of an eye. Wirfs is always driving his feet, never settling for just making a block. When he's right, Wirfs produces highlight blocks, pancakes and saps the opponent's will.
The biggest issue that Wirfs runs into is staying on blocks. He's powerful enough that he can drive opponents off the ball with ease, but his pad level tends to rise and as it does, his base gets narrower. Those two things in tandem give the opponent the opportunity to slip out of the block. Against collegiate competition, it's often too late and rarely is a player who gets off of a Wirfs block a factor in the play. In the NFL, that may happen far more often, so he needs to maintain a lower base so he avoids falling off blocks.
Likewise, Wirfs will occasionally overextend and end up falling down if the opponent's body weight doesn't keep him upright. He needs to do a better job of keeping his feet under him or he ends up off balance and end up on the ground with the player he was supposed to block stepping over his carcass trying to make a play.
His athleticism to get out and lead, pull or most anything else is exceptional. There's not much a team can't ask him to do in terms of range.The effort, the will and the attitude are what teams will love about Wirfs. There are details that need fine tuning, but considering the package, that won't stop anyone from taking him.
Wirfs isn't a fully polished pass protector coming out of college, but he does have a number of tools at his disposal that some simply won't have. Wirfs will get in positions that whiff on blocks and see opponents get passed him. He will occasionally over set outside, opening the door for opponents to go inside of him.
Wirfs will give up ground in pass protection, but he's also tremendous at recovering from a disadvantage. He anchors well is able to generate remarkable power to gain control of the play and does a nice job of re-placing his hands.
Wirfs has a good stance and generates explosive strength to stone opponents immediately when he gets hands on, occasionally crumpling them to the ground. His punch is excellent and he can be an incredibly assertive pass protector. His movement skills are spectacular and that can hurt him, because he occasionally underestimates his own strength and goes too far to make the block. Of all the problems to have, controlling one's uniquely special agility is one most football players would be happy to have.
For the most part, Wirfs is a good pass protector. He will make mistakes that shouldn't happen, because they simply seem beneath him. On one hand, he can take apart a stunt by himself and then he'll whiff on a block that seems routine. He's not a finished product, but he has immense ability and his training, particularly as it relates to recovering from a disadvantage, puts him ahead of some of his compatriots
Fit, Usage and Projection with the Browns
Wirfs can step in and play four different positions for the Browns, but he would play the left tackle spot, presumably. The offense he played in for the Iowa Hawkeyes might be the smoothest transition of any prospect from the college level to the Browns. Kirk Ferentz is as good as there is on the planet and they play a heavy zone scheme.
Wirfs, Joel Bitonio and J.C. Tretter would likely make up the most athletic left side of an offensive line in the league. There are details and polish that need to be refined in Wirfs game, but he is a dream fit for what the Browns want to do. If he's available when the Browns pick, he more than warrants the selection and might be the player the Browns covet the most in this draft class.