It was a spectacular rookie year for Buc’s OT Tristan Wirfs, who was the only Buc not to miss a single offensive snap all season. Wirfs Glory even garnered him some Rookie of the Year noise on social media after he just handed over a sack in 20 games. Somehow the Wirfs were even better in the playoffs and allowed only two pressures.
Now, ESPN’s ongoing investigation of more than 50 league leaders, coaches, scouts and players to rank the top 10 players in the NFL at each position have also recognized the Wirfs. The Iowa product slipped into the No. 8 offensive tackle rankings of established veterans like Tyron Smith and Ryan Ramczyk. Despite a coveted placement for a one-year-old player, this quote from an NFC director made me scratch my head.
“He’s just a really good lineman,” said an NFC director. “He is not necessarily one [unusual] athlete with his feet, but he is a very good athlete in general and does not give up much. Plus, he’s playing with Tom Bradythat gets the ball out really fast. Not sure if the talent level is elite, but he proved early on that he will be productive for a long time. ”
So he is not a good athlete with his feet, but he is a good athlete in general, but the talent level is not elite? Sometimes NFL guys just say things. Like Michael Scott, they start a sentence and just hope they find it along the way.
People are welcome to have different opinions on what Wirfs wants to be in the NFL, but to say he is not an elite talent? He could have been a lot worse as a rookie and he would still be an elite talent. Wirfs is 6-5, 320 and had one of the most elite training of all time for a tackle. Standing Cam Jordan and Joey Bosa up on an island in your first four games doesn’t just happen. Wirfs is an absurd talent. To suggest otherwise suggests that this executive has not seen him.
Maybe he’s not the only one. Somehow, the Jets’ Mekhi Becton ranked sixth on the list, two spots above the Wirfs. The article admits that the Wirfs had the better rookie season, but that NFL staff projects Becton to get even better in the end. Becton is great, but I think they’s underselling what Wirfs’ ceiling might be. We will see.
ESPN’s investigation continues Sunday as they rank the top ten offensive linemen in the NFL. Buc fans will see if Ali Marpet and Ryan Jensen are represented. Thursday and Friday, CB Carlton Davis and S Antoine Winfield Jr. just missed the top tens at their respective positions.