Draft Prospect Preview | OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
Height: 6-foot 5
Weight: 322 lbs
From his freshman year in high school, to his junior year in college, Tristan Wirfs has almost always been one of the most phenomenal talents on the field.
Wirfs, who grew up in Mount Vernon, Iowa, is quite versatile. He excelled at wrestling, track and field, and discus, and is just the fourth male in the state of Iowa to win both shot put and discus titles in consecutive years. He was offered scholarships in only his sophomore year of high school, eventually committed to Iowa in his junior year.
As a true freshman, he started seven games at right tackle. Before his sophomore season, Wirfs was suspended for the season-opener after an OWI arrest in late July, but he quickly put that ugly incident behind him but rededicating himself to working hard and earning the trust of his teammates and coaches.
Wirf's breakout season came in 2019, when an injury to left tackle Alaric Jackson resulted in Wirfs moving to that side. Whereas most offensive tackles struggle when they flip sides, Wirf was an instant natural, allowing just one sack all season and achieving an 83.7 overall grade, according to Pro Football Focus' 2020 draft guide.
Wirfs typically dominated his competition. He offers good power and anchors well. He did, however, have his hiccups against speed rushers, which has some NFL draft scouts believing he'd be better off inside at guard at the NFL. But where he ultimately does lineup could very well depend on the type of blocking scheme the NFL team that takes him decides to run.
Why He’s a Fit
The New York Giants have been trying for years to fix the offensive line. They drafted tackle Ereck Flowers in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft, but he graded out as one of the worst tackles in football and was cut before he could finish his rookie contract.
Left tackle Nate Solder, who the Giants signed to what was, at the time, the largest contract in NFL history for an offensive lineman, hasn't lived up to his monstrous deal, either due to injury, a decline in skill or a combination of factors. While his cap figure will make him hard to cut, at some point sooner than later the Giants will be moving on from him.
Right tackle Mike Remmers has been solid, but is not the long-term answer. Simply put, the Giants must finally complete this offensive line rebuild project to take some of the onus off quarterback Daniel Jones, who simply cannot play behind a line that allowed the ninth-most sacks last season (43).
With the Giants having spent top-10 picks on a franchise quarterback and running back, the next franchise position they need to address is offensive tackle.
Enter Wirfs, who played in a nearly identical system to the pros in Iowa. Wirf has a unique combination of power and quickness, often removing defenders from the play entirely. He might very well be the best offensive lineman in this draft and should be there at No. 4 if the Giants want to go in that direction.
NFL Draft Network’s Jordan Reid ranks Wirfs is currently ranked as the Draft Networks's sixth-best prospect overall. General manager Dave Gettleman has mentioned the need for “hog mollies” along the offensive and defensive line. Wirfs, at 320 pounds and 6-foot-5 inches, absolutely fits the bill.