Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tristan Wirfs best right tackle in NFL

Tom Brady, Tristan Wirfs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tom Brady, Tristan Wirfs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Despite only playing his rookie season, Tristan Wirfs of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is already the best right tackle in the NFL.

The position of right tackle is a curious one in the NFL. It isn’t as glamorized as the left tackle since he doesn’t protect the blindside, but given the increasing financial value of the right side, the NFL is starting to come around to the importance of the right tackle. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are fortunate to already have the best one in the league after only a rookie season.

The Buccaneers drafted Tristan Wirfs with the 13th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft in an effort to keep their new prized possession, Tom Brady, upright during the season. Suffice to say, things worked out. The Buccaneers won Super Bowl LV in both Brady and Wirfs’ first season in Tampa Bay, and the Buccaneers hit a tape-measure home run with their first-round draft choice.

There was a lot of ballyhoo about Antoine Winfield Jr. being snubbed out of Defensive Rookie of the Year, and the same can be said for Wirfs on offense, despite being an offensive lineman. Not only that, a case can be made Wirfs was snubbed out of the All-Pro team.

Now granted, Jack Conklin of the Cleveland Browns and the New Orleans Saints’ Ryan Ramczyk, the first and second-team All-Pro right tackles respectively, had phenomenal seasons, they didn’t blow Wirfs out of the water. In fact, they were comparable to that of Wirfs. Conklin only committed two penalties while giving up only a single sack while Ramczyk committed four penalties while giving up two sacks.

As for Wirfs? Three penalties and one sack. Statistically, Wirfs had a better season than Ramczyk. Wirfs only committed one penalty after week five. As a rookie, Wirfs stood out in other ways. He completely shut down Cameron Jordan, only allowing a single quarterback pressure to Jordan IN

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Leonard Fournette, Tristan Wirfs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

HIS FIRST PROFESSIONAL GAME. Wirfs also showed great athleticism for a tackle in the run game, and was a big reason Leonard Fournette became “Playoff Lenny”. Wirfs also started every game for the Buccaneers while being the only player on the entire roster without missing a single snap.

It’s this kind of durability that helps Wirfs stand out. Mitchell Schwartz of the Kansas City Chiefs has a claim to the title of best right tackle in football, but will be coming off of major back surgery, so as far as his skills and durability go, who knows how Schwartz will respond. We also mentioned the growing financials of right tackles. Lane Johnson of the Philadelphia Eagles and the gargantuan Trent Brown of the Las Vegas Raiders are currently the highest-paid right tackles in football. Both are very good, and while Brown is a mountain of a man at 6 feet-8 inches and weighing 380 pounds and Johnson at one point was even among the NFL’s best if not the best right tackle, have yet to secure their health after securing the bag.

With Wirfs only entering his second season in the league with a favorable contract, as a result, coupled with his All-Pro-worthy statistics, there is no right tackle that franchises should want to start their team with more than Wirfs. Simply put, Tristan Wirfs is the best right tackle in football.