After making a late draft night trade with the San Francisco 49ers to move up one spot in the first round of the 2020 draft to select offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs with the No. 13 pick, The Bucs appeared to have struck gold. Wirfs played every snap for Tampa Bay this season while astonishingly surrendering just one sack all year, despite facing a murderer’s row of pass rushers in Cam Jordan, Brian Burns, Joey Bosa, Bradley Chubb and Khalil Mack to name just a few.
But general manager Jason Licht mentioned on the Pewter Report Podcast that he was willing – and went as far as attempting – to move up even higher than No. 13 for Wirfs.
“I was stunned,” Licht said about Wirfs beginning to slide in the draft. “I saw him starting to fall. I was trying to go and get him, well, even higher than nine and nobody wanted to make any deals and I think we made the first trade of the pandemic at-home draft. There are teams but there was one in particular that I was very worried about going up to San Fran that was below us and it turned out that that was going to happen, or they were seriously considering this trade, but they didn’t want to go back that far. They were afraid of losing their guy that they took, [Javon] Kinlaw. So the fourth-round pick, that was easy for me to go and do it. If it was any less than that, they wouldn’t have taken the trade.”
So while the may have ultimately cost the Bucs a fourth-round pick, roughly the same price that it cost the Bucs to land tight end Rob Gronkowski in a trade for the Patriots, all things initially seemed to have worked out for the best as Tampa Bay not only hoisted their second Lombardi Trophy in franchise history by season’s end but may have apparently found their right tackle of the future in Wirfs.
You can watch Licht’s appearance on the Pewter Report Podcast here.