The physical beast on the offensive line may have a choice to make
Tristan Wirfs, while not having the same hype as AJ Epenesa, still had high expectations placed on him.
Wirfs is a versatile player, moving between right tackle and left tackle this season at Iowa. However, Wirfs claim to fame may have been his work in the weight room.
That isn’t something a normal person can do. It just isn’t.
When NFL scouts talk about measurables, Wirfs ability to hang clean 450 lbs four times is a big plus. Tristan supported the work in the weight room with performances earning him a spot of the PFF B1G Team of the Week multiple times this season.
In fact, most, if not all mock drafts, have Wirfs getting picked in the first round. His position in the first round ranges from a top 10 pick to the bottom of the first round.
Like Epenesa, Wirfs is not seen as the top player at his position. Andrew Thomas of Georgia has that honor.
Unlike Epenesa, Wirfs may have more to prove in college. While it is admittedly unfair, an offensive line, more than any unit in football, is judged as a group rather than at an individual level.
Iowa football’s offensive line has, by no measure, had an elite year. When I think back to the best historical Hawkeye linemen like Robert Gallery and Brandon Scherff, I think of excellent running teams that dominated at the point of attack.
Iowa football’s running game has been mediocre at best. While that isn’t on one guy alone, another year at Iowa could be the difference between being a late first-rounder/early second-rounder and a top 10 pick.
Should I stay or should I go: I think Tristan has a chance at elevating himself to a top 5 pick, but he is first-rounder (albeit a late one) in 2020 either way. I’d take the risk and stay, but I’m a biased Iowa football fan.