The NY Jets will likely look to pick an offensive lineman in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft and Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs could be a perfect fit.
The 2020 NFL Draft is only a couple of months away and the NY Jets are already gearing up for what should be an eventful three days. Revamping the offensive line remains a must and Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs could be an ideal fit for the offensive-line-needy Jets.
As it stands now, there is no true consensus top offensive tackle in this year’s class. That said, there remain three or four players who are all jostling for that top spot and all four are viable draft possibilities for the Jets.
For a while, the top-three consisted of the aforementioned Wirfs, Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, and Alabama’s Jedrick Wills Jr. But in recent weeks, Louisville’s Mekhi Becton has seen a stark rise up draft boards and is now considered to be on the same tier.
While all four have different strengths, weaknesses, and play styles, there is little separation between them in terms of quality of prospect — at least by most scouts’ standards.
As such, teams will likely look to draft based on potential fit. For the Jets, the player who makes the most sense might be Wirfs.
The newly-turned 21-year-old was voted Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2019 and subsequently made First-Team All-Big Ten as a direct result of his stellar play last season.
Wirfs entered the Iowa program with a ton of hype and he became the first true freshman to start at offensive tackle since 1999 after starting seven games at right tackle with another start on the left side.
He would go on to start all 12 games at right tackle in 2018 and continue to man that side of the offensive line during his fantastic 2019 season.
During his time at Iowa, Wirfs became known for his incredible feats of strength and his excellent work ethic. The Mount Vernon native shattered Brandon Scherff‘s hang clean record of 443 pounds as he became known as a weight-room warrior.
Pound for pound, there might not be a stronger player in this class than Tristan Wirfs. And that’s where his potential Jets fit comes into play.
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Wirfs has a very high floor as a prospect because of his technically-sound footwork and incredible power at the point of attack. The primary knock on him has been that some feel his arms are a bit too short and that he might struggle in pass protection at the NFL level.
For that reason, some have insisted that he kick inside to guard in the pros. However, we’ve seen that that isn’t always necessary and that “short mall-arm” offensive linemen could have just as much success in the NFL.
Don’t overlook game tape for Combine measurements.
Even so, Wirfs could very well move inside to guard and probably flourish there limiting bust possibility. He’s a perfect high-floor prospect with a relatively high-ceiling to boot.
There’s no reason why Wirfs shouldn’t be a solid-at-worst offensive lineman for years to come with the potential to turn into a perennial All-Pro.
General manager Joe Douglas values powerful, road-graders along the offensive line and he would be smart to tap into an Iowa pipeline that produces NFL-ready offensive linemen on a yearly basis.
The aforementioned Scherff and Bryan Bulaga are just two examples of Iowa linemen who came out of college and immediately stepped in as day one, instant impact starters.
That’s exactly what the Jets need.
Becton and Thomas probably give higher upside. Wills is an excellent prospect who could become an All-Pro one day.
But in terms of perfect fits, there may be no better match than the Jets and Tristan Wirfs.