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2020 NFL Draft Profile: Tristan Wirfs

Tristan Wirfs, a 6’5 322 lbs junior out of Iowa is not the most athletic draft prospect, that’s Jedrick Wills, not the most physically gifted or pro-ready, that’s Andrew Thomas, but he’s perhaps the most technically sound offensive lineman. As mentioned in a previous article, tackle duo of Mike Remmers and Nate Solder that allowed more combined pressures than any pair in the NFL, for the Giants. Both side of the trenches need to be addressed this off season, in the draft and free agency and unless Chase Young falls (unlikely) or the Giants move up (even more unlikely, there’s early reports their moving down with a quarterback needy team), they’re better off getting value drafting offensive-line early in the draft. Let’s discuss an early riser, the Iowa product, Tristan Wirfs.

Photo Credit: Stephen Malley

He has good size and a long, thick frame which is utilized in versatile ways. There’s an interesting contrast in Wirfs’ game, he employs two different strategies, in pass defense he’s patient and waits for the rusher to initiate contact, using heavy but disciplined hands to neutralize, where as in run defense he is more aggressive, getting to the point of contact before his opponent and attacking with force, using momentum and strength to push into the shoulder and move them off their line. Wirfs is mauler in run defense and is efficient in zone concepts which will be very important at the NFL with the recent wave of teams adopting those schemes. But, whilst aggressive when lead blocking or swinging, he has very light and careful foot placement which helps him get to his spots quickly.

Fitting In Blue

Does it need to be mentioned again? The Giants need an offensive lineman. Especially an athletic one like Tristan Wirfs. The Giants have $61 million in cape space this off-season and will likely hunt a big name free agent at the tackle position, AKA Jack Conklin. However, they’ll be hard-pressed not to pursue one of the three top tackles in the draft. Additionally, Wirfs is the best run-blocker in the class and his explosiveness should pair well with Saquon Barkley, especially if he’s the focal point going forward. It’s possible with a good, mobile trench unit as anchors, as we’ve seen with the 49ers and Titans this year. Tristan Wirfs could be a great start to this process.

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2020 NFL Draft Profile: Tristan Wirfs

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