Iowa Football: Playing LT could be great for Tristan Wirfs NFL Draft stock

Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images
Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images /

Tristan Wirfs can improve his NFL Draft by successfully filling in at left tackle.

Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs will likely be one of the first offensive linemen selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. He is an absolute freak up front, pairing ridiculous natural strength with good overall athleticism and great technique. He topped the list of Bruce Feldman’s freak athletes this year and undoubtedly has a bright future going forward.

Wirfs lined up in his regular right tackle position to start Iowa’s season-opening game against Miami (OH). However, when fellow NFL Draft prospect and Iowa left tackle Alaric Jackson went down with a knee injury early in the game, Wirfs had to move to the left side. He stepped up and dominated like we would expect him to, but this kind of transition is not an easy one to make.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz gave an update on Jackson on Sunday and while he will miss some time with a knee injury, he will not miss the entire season. Surgery will not be required.

“They did tests and were hopeful it wouldn’t be anything overly serious,” Ferentz said, according to Darren Miller of “Every injury is serious, but the good news is, it doesn’t look like it will necessitate any kind of surgery. I think we’re looking at a matter of weeks right now, but it could have been a lot worse.”

Losing Jackson will obviously hurt the Hawkeyes. They would rather have two stud offensive tackles flanking their offensive front than just one. However, this unfortunate injury does open up a door for Wirfs to improve his draft stock.

If he did not play a single snap at left tackle, some would have knocked him in the draft process. He is a quick and nimble pass protector who would have been able to transition from right tackle to left at the next level regardless, but teams want to see him actually make the move before they invest heavily in him to protect the blindside of their quarterback.

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Wirfs will now get an opportunity to show NFL scouts that he can play the left side. If the game against Miami is any indication, he is going to be just fine. No matter where he plays, Wirfs is going to be a dominant offensive lineman. However, simply letting scouts see with their own eyes that he can handle left tackle could do wonders for his 2020 NFL Draft stock.