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It was a spectacular rookie year for Bucs OT Tristan Wirfs, who was the only Buc not to miss a single offensive snap all season. Wirfs brilliance even earned him some Rookie of the Year noise on social media, after he surrendered just one sack in 20 games. Somehow Wirfs was even better in the playoffs, allowing just two pressures.

Now, ESPN’s ongoing survey of more than 50 league executives, coaches, scouts and players to rank the top 10 players in the NFL at each position has recognized Wirfs as well. The Iowa product slid into the offensive tackle rankings at No. 8, over established veterans like Tyron Smith and Ryan Ramczyk. Despite a coveted ranking for a one-year player, this quote from an NFC executive had me scratching my head.

Bucs RT Tristan Wirfs

Bucs RT Tristan Wirfs – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“He’s just a really good lineman,” an NFC exec said. “He’s not necessarily an [unusual] athlete with his feet, but he’s a very good athlete overall and doesn’t give up much. Plus, he plays with Tom Brady, who gets the ball out really fast. Not sure if the talent level is elite, but he proved early that he will be productive for a long time.”

So, he’s not a great athlete with his feet, but he is a great athlete overall, but the talent level isn’t elite? Sometimes, NFL guys just say stuff. Like Michael Scott, they start a sentence and just hope they find it along the way.

People are welcome to different opinions of what Wirfs will be in the NFL, but to say he isn’t an elite talent? He could have been much worse as a rookie and he would still be an elite talent. Wirfs is 6-5, 320 and had one of the most elite workouts of all-time for a tackle. Standing up Cam Jordan and Joey Bosa on an island in your first four games doesn’t just happen. Wirfs is an absurd talent. To suggest otherwise indicates this executive hasn’t been watching him.

Maybe he’s not the only one. Somehow, the Jets’ Mekhi Becton ranked sixth on the list, two spots above Wirfs. The article admits Wirfs had the better rookie season, but that NFL personnel are projecting Becton to be even better eventually. Becton is awesome, but I think they are underselling what Wirfs’ ceiling can be. We’ll see.

ESPN’s survey continues on Sunday, as they rank the top ten interior offensive linemen in the NFL. Bucs fans will be looking to see if Ali Marpet and Ryan Jensen are represented. On Thursday and Friday, CB Carlton Davis and S Antoine Winfield Jr. just missed the top tens at their respective positions.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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2 months ago

Brady may get rid of the ball fast but he also threw more bombs this year than probably any time in the past which required him to hold onto the ball longer. I doubt many of these clowns sat down and watched any film on Wirfs.

2 months ago

You don’t even have to say who was the NFL GM was who said this ridiculous statement. This BS smells like Giants’ Dave Gettleman! Yes, the master evaluator of talent who just fell “in love” with Daniel Jones and by passed Wirfs and Behkton in the 1st round to draft a 2nd to 3rd round graded prospect by the name of Andrew Thomas. Just those two picks will set their franchise back a few years! Anyone who says Wirfs isn’t a perennial starting Pro bowler, either doesn’t know talent or is in denial!

Reply to  TBREY13
2 months ago

Good call.

2 months ago

I was a huge advocate for Wirfs! His play only cemented the fact that he is an elite talent. The video where he hops out of the pool as a 300lbs man was indeed telling. I do believe him to be an elite talent and his play this coming year will only solidify that opinion. Will most likely go down as the greatest offensive lineman in Buccaneer history.

2 months ago

That is just asinine. Wirfs was WIDELY considered the best athlete of the bunch that came out in the draft. He is a freak he can jump out of a freaking pool he can dunk the basket like a power forward. Does that guy get paid to write article’s. I would love to see who he thinks is a elite athlete. I mean seriously what a stupid ignorant thing to say it’s beyond bizarre. Maybe he’s just a hater.
Okay I reread supposedly done random NFL exec said that about Tristan. I don’t buy that but whatever.

Last edited 2 months ago by SoberInSac
2 months ago

Perhaps our old friend “Big Sombrero”, who sadly left these pages when his negative predictions fell short of their mark, should make a cameo appearance to at least acknowledge that Wirfs is pretty good.

Reply to  scubog
2 months ago

He won’t show his face on here anymore after all the bad predictions he made. Washed up Brady, stupid to move up for Wirfs, etc. I do miss buc ass bobs commentary though. He was funny as hell when he would talk about Winston. Sombrero was just a tool for the sake of being a tool

Reply to  scubog
2 months ago

Funny, was just thinking the same thing.

2 months ago

All these polls and rankings are just opinions, but this is a really stupid one here. You rank Becton higher even though he didn’t play as well as Whirfs because you “think” he might play better down the road? Complete, nonsensical, idiocy.

2 months ago

I am not a Hawkeye fan. But, I watched plenty of Hawkeye football. I was surprised, and happy, he fell to the Bucs.

2 months ago

The Big Sombrero turned out to be a wee twat. Not really sure what his story was. He claimed to be a Buccaneer fan, but how can you be so anti Brady and anti Wirfs and be a Buccaneer fan.

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