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Sonny Werblin

What the Wirf?

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Didn't want to post this on the main board because there is too much noise over there and it would turn into a debate on the Jets draft choice. This is more of an overall draft question. Most of us had our fingers crossed that 1 of the top 4 OT's would still be on the Board at 11. I figured if it was any of them, it would likely be Becton because he has the lowest floor. So it wasn't a surprise he was still there. But 2 of them!  Why the heck did Wirf's fall so far. Was he the #4 OT on anyone's draft board? If so, I didn't notice it. Is there something we don't know about him? He seems to check all the boxes for character, athleticism, quickness, and work ethic. What gives? Was it just one of those things. Or was there some rational (or irrational) basis for him falling outside of the top 11 picks.

Just a Draft Junky trying to piece this together. I hate it when things make no sense (which, by the way, is a terrible character trait to be burdened with when watching helplessly as the Jets have made draft picks over the past ..... well forever.)

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Wirfs is an excellent weight room guy and a talented athlete coming out of a great program. Iowa lines are great. Some of the knocks on him (and I know there are counterarguments to several of these which I'm sure our resident Iowa fan can bring up) included some technique questions regarding his first step, him supposedly having tight end help a lot, the idea that he was a very explosive linear athlete due to being a weight room freak but somewhat lacking in flexibility and lateral movement, a propensity to get beat inside, the fact that he played right tackle in college, and I think concerns about Iowa linemen who have historically been solid NFL players but sometimes disappointed at tackle.

From a Jets specific standpoint - I'm not sure how much the technique led to his propensity to get beat inside versus him being a little more of a linear athlete. But they're planning to run wide splits more - and I think getting beat inside would be a big nono from that standpoint.

Bottom line - I think the Gallery comparisons that get thrown out are generally unfair and him playing right tackle instead of left was answered by HawkeyeJet - the guy who played on the left side struggled on the right and Wirfs could do both. His technique was a little unusual at times and he does look like an extremely explosive but linear athlete. Which is fine if you're being asked to do things that work well with that. This is probably an awful comparison - but DK Metcalf is a linear athlete. Seattle asked him to do things that fit that. A lot of people think that with Wirfs - he's not well suited to tackle, certainly not left tackle. And they view him more as a guard. Which - I think he'd be a Pro Bowl guard. I think he will be a Pro Bowl guard. And I could be dead wrong. But I think that perception is why he slipped.

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For what it's worth - Wirfs wasn't as highly thought of by a few ex-linemen. There's a handful of puff pieces this past month from guys like Joe Thomas, Damien Woody etc ranking their personal preference, and Wirfs got picked apart a little bit for footwork and speed concerns... nothing dramatic, but maybe explains why he was still on the board. 

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I don’t think Wirfs is a LT. Becton is projected to be a pro bowl caliber LT 

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Thanks, I'm a little surprised about some of the negatives as to footwork, speed and lateral movement. I had presumed that since he was a state champion wrestler, those sort of things would be a strength. 

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Nah. Wirfs is a bit of tackle projection. It was just a question of fit and risk aversion. The top two tackles that were drafted were the safest picks and Becton/ Wirfs have a bit more work. I really think all 4 of them were closely rated and it was slim margins.

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I think it might have been some bad luck for him too. It's possible that Giants and the Browns had him #2 or 3 but a higher guy was there in Thomas/Wills. Three only definitive thing we can say is that Douglas liked Becton more. But even there who knows maybe they were 2/3 there or 1/2 on his board. But I imagine that combined with him being a bit of a projection to the left side led to his mini slide on draft day. 

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Personally, I think it was the same reason Simmons fell as far as he did. POSITION. 

By the time the draft rolled around a lot of people had Wirfs as an OG maaaaaaybe a RT in the right system. IMO I think thats crazy. But hey, I'm not a scout or GM. The value for a Guard who might be able to play RT is just not the same as a RT who might be able to play LT or a LT. 

Simmons was this elite freak once in a lifetime athlete that can play any position. Well why didn't he get drafted top 5? Why did Andrew Thomas get drafted ahead of him by the Giants who have needs all over the place? IMO its b/c Simmons doesn't have a true position and is, in a way, scheme specific. A guy like A.Thomas you plug and play at LT. Guys like Tua and Herbert are QBs- the most critical positions on the offense, the team. Okudah is a plug and play CB.  With Simmons, I think POSITION dropped him down. Although not that far b/c he truly is a special player.   

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On 4/24/2020 at 2:03 PM, Sonny Werblin said:

Thanks, I'm a little surprised about some of the negatives as to footwork, speed and lateral movement. I had presumed that since he was a state champion wrestler, those sort of things would be a strength. 

I’ve seen lots of tape of Wirfs his technique in pass protection left something to be desired

 

doesnt matter though. Brady gets rid of the ball in 2 seconds

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17 minutes ago, Philc1 said:

I’ve seen lots of tape of Wirfs his technique in pass protection left something to be desired

 

doesnt matter though. Brady gets rid of the ball in 2 seconds

That’s a good point, which makes me wonder if Arians is changing his system to suit Brady? Arians teams are more notorious for long developing deep routes. They are the opposite of what Brady has been doing for the past 5+ years.

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I posted this on the Main Board.  Albert Breer's Post-Draft mailbag.  I also heard Baldinger say that Wirfs projects to a pro bowl guard while Becton is a pure LT with a higher ceiling.

https://www.si.com/nfl/2020/04/29/nfl-draft-mailbag-washington-dwayne-haskins

From Michael Christopher (@Bigdogz1318): Are you surprised jets took Becton over Wirfs, especially with the signing of Fant. Fant and Wirfs were similar athletically. What did you think of the rest of their draft? Braden Mann couple be special-teams game changer

Michael, only one thing surprised me about it—Mekhi Becton is way more boom-or-bust than Tristan Wirfs, and I know that GM Joe Douglas would love for his first pick to be a player he can point to, in what he’s looking for in guys. Becton’s tape was inconsistent, and there were questions about his ability to make weight, even over the last few months.

That said, what matters most is who the player becomes, and Becton absolutely has a chance to become a long-term answer at left tackle, and maybe even a top five player at the most important position on the offensive line, while there were questions about whether Wirfs was capable of playing the position at all (he was a right tackle in college, and some teams saw him as a guard).

 

Overall, all I can base the rest of the class on is where some of the guys were valued versus where they were taken, and it seems like the Jets did well in that department—you’re betting on the come on second-rounder Denzel Mims, Ashtyn Davis and Jabari Zuniga were good gets in the third round, and keep eye on fifth-rounder corner Bryce Hall, a really good player dinged because he’s been hurt and he’s not a burner.

I’ll leave the punter analysis to the experts.

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On 4/29/2020 at 8:47 AM, Sonny Werblin said:

That’s a good point, which makes me wonder if Arians is changing his system to suit Brady? Arians teams are more notorious for long developing deep routes. They are the opposite of what Brady has been doing for the past 5+ years.

Arians knows what he’s doing he will change his playbook for Brady or... Brady will change it for him and just audible like crazy

 

Pat Riley went from having the highlight reel showtime offense with Lakers to coaching the hell out of the Bad Boys Defense Knicks holding teams under 90 ppg - that’s what great coaches do

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