OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa*

6’5” – 322 lbs.

Started eight games as a freshman, seven at right tackle and one at left tackle, making him the first true freshman to start at tackle under Kirk Ferentz. Started twelve games at right tackle the following year, and reprised that role the following year. Like some of the other top tackles in this year’s class, height is just adequate for the outside, but also possesses excellent bulk and very thick, evenly-distributed build; official measurements will be important. Comes from a program which is renowned for producing high-quality offensive line prospects and has the type of polish you’d expect from someone with nearly three years of starting experience. At his best clearing holes in the run game. Fires out with good leverage, gets his arms extended, and keeps his feet churning after contact to generate push. Capable of overpowering opposing defensive ends and driving them yards off of their original spot. Was asked to climb fairly regularly, demonstrating good effort to get out to the second level or move down the field and engage or obstruct opponents; more athletic in space than his size would suggest. Could be a mauler but at times looks content to wall off opponents instead of going for the kill; would like to see more consistent nastiness. Usually plays within his frame, demonstrating good balance and avoiding waist-bending. Doesn’t have the quickest or smoothest kickslide, but pass sets otherwise look good; looks capable of defending against speed nonetheless. Able to bend at the knees, keep his back straight, and load his hands to deliver his punch. Plays with a wide base through contact, gets good extension with his arms, and can reload his hands to punch again. Overall placement is good – high and inside, although it would be nice to see him take a more physical, aggressive approach with his punches, as he can sometimes catch opponents, causing him to drop his anchor slightly late. Uses his hands well to stick with opponents through counters and spins. Looks comfortable anchoring against power, with the type of bulk to handle opposing bull-rushers. Recovery speed is just average. Looks like a very solid right tackle who should be able to step into a starting lineup very soon given his overall level of polish and pro-ready size and strength. Not the nastiest or most overwhelmingly athletic option, but it’s hard to find options with his snap-to-snap consistency and well-rounded game, so a team seeking a plug-and-play starter looks likely to choose him at some point in the first round.

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