Although it is still very early in the season, decisions on whether or not to enter the NFL Draft are a year-long affair for many, which means news on a prospect can be provided at any time. This includes Tristan Wirfs, a junior offensive tackle who has accomplished quite a bit during his time at Iowa and is building an impressive resume.
Among the accomplishments Wirfs has earned include being the first true freshman to start at an offensive tackle position for Iowa and named as an honorable mention All Big-Ten member by coaches and the media in 2018. The same recognition was given in 2017 by BTN.com, all of which are according to hawkeyessports.com. Wirfs did, however, miss Iowa’s opening game in 2018 due to a suspension after he was arrested for driving a scooter while intoxicated.
Wirfs’ continued improvement last year increased speculation he could be drafted very early after the 2019 season, with some projecting him to be the first tackle off the board in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Wirfs, who stands 6’5 and 320 pounds, would seem destined for the NFL after the season then, right? Not exactly.
In conversations with sources this weekend, I have learned the present feeling among most familiar with the situation is there is less than a 50/50 chance Wirfs enters the draft at seasons’ end. In fact, some told me it’s just a remote possibility the Hawkeye tackle takes his game to the next level in 2020.
The sources all reiterated the same reason – academics and receiving his degree are a priority for Wirfs. Also, the dominant tackle just seems to enjoy college.
Granted it’s still very early in the decision-making process, and we’ve seen others with the same initial feeling as Wirfs alter their course – Luke Kuechly and Andrus Peat immediately come to mind.
Regardless, Wirfs reported leaning towards staying in school plus the decision Stanford’s Walker Little must now make coming off his season-ending knee injury, will profoundly affect the offensive tackle position in next April’s draft.