In this edition of the Pewter Plank Player Spotlight, it’s time we talk about one of the best young players in the NFL; Buccaneers tackle Tristan Wirfs!
Wirfs plays tackle on our offensive line, and that position sometimes keeps him from getting the notoriety that some of our other players, but Wirfs should absolutely be mentioned right alongside names like Mike Evans, Vita Vea, Lavonte David, and Devin White in terms of importance to our team. I mean that as no slight to these other stars, but that is meant as a MASSIVE complement to Wirfs.
The 6’5”, 320 lb. offensive tackle from the University of Iowa was drafted 13th overall in the 2020 NFL draft. In just two years in the league, Wirfs has already built up quite an impressive résumé as he has been named a Pro Bowler, an All-Pro, and is a Super Bowl champion. Wirfs was also recently voted by other players and coaches as the 41st best player in the league in the yearly NFL Top 100 players ranking. The list of accolades continues to grow for one of the most promising young players in the league.
Before his name was called in the NFL draft, Wirfs had gone a bit viral, as his incredible athletic ability was on display in an online video of him jumping from the water in a pool out onto it’s ledge…. A ridiculous display for an over 300 pound man, or a man of any size for that matter.
Wirfs’ athleticism shows on the football field as he can consistently keep up with the flash and burst shown by edge rushers as they race to the quarterback…. But he’s not JUST an athletic big, he’s incredibly strong. Wirfs currently owns the University of Iowa record for a powerlifting maneuver named the “hang clean”, at a school famed for producing strong lineman. The record, which he broke in 2019 was previously held by fellow NFL first round pick, Brandon Scherff, who is now a highly-ranked offensive guard for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
That combination of size, speed, and strength has helped Tristan Wirfs only allow three total regular season sacks thus far in his NFL career, which is pretty incredible due to the high level of competition he faces. As an offensive line, the Buccaneers gave up the least amount of sacks in the entire league in 2021, and of course that credit must get spread throughout the line, I think it’s more than fair to say that Wirfs did his part in contributing to that success in protecting Tom Brady.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are extremely lucky to have hit on drafting Tristan Wirfs back in 2020, and hopefully he can continue to be an anchor on our offensive line for years to come!
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