Buccaneers steal offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs with the 13th pick

Tristan Wirfs, Iowa Hawkeyes, (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
Tristan Wirfs, Iowa Hawkeyes, (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) /

Being aggressive and trading up one spot for Tristan Wirfs, one of the top offensive tackles in the draft, will prove to be a genius move on the Buccaneers part.

Tampa Bay’s main objective entering the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft was to land a premium offensive tackle. The Buccaneers did just that with trading up one spot for Tristan Wirfs.

Wirfs projected in a majority of mock drafts to be the first offensive tackle off the board. Tampa Bay gets an immediate impact along their offensive line, and a high-caliber right tackle to give Tom Brady more time in the pocket.

The Buccaneers’ offensive line surrendered 47 sacks last season, which needed to be cleaned up, and the organization waited until the NFL Draft to fill the need — Tampa Bay did that picking Wirfs.

Entering the draft, Wirfs put on one of the most dominant pass-blocking performances for Iowa this past season. After lining up for 461 pass-blocking snaps, according to PFF, Wirfs only surrendered two sacks, two quarterback hits, and three overall hurries.

Iowa’s offensive scheme is nearly identical to an NFL system with the head coach, Kirk Ferentz, and his NFL background. This gives Wirfs a small learning curve transitioning with Tampa Bay, which is key to the presumed absence of offseason team activities and training camp. The Buccaneers needed an immediate impact along the offensive line to stay on the win-now course — the team got just that with Wirfs.

Next. Drafting right OT is difference in a Super Bowl for Bucs. dark

Acquiring Wirfs in the draft concludes the talk of Donovan Smith kicking out to the right side. Smith posted a career-high pass-blocking grade of 77.4 given by PFF, and will only improve with more time in Arians offense as shown in 2019.

The Buccaneers had no choice but to go offensive tackle in the first round. Tampa Bay has to protect Brady and give him time in the pocket to deliever the ball to his weapons. Now the team’s offensive line is set and ready to protect the veteran quarterback.