Should improve ability to block counter moves to the inside
Can get surprised by speed to power, bull rushes
Falls to the ground too much
Needs some development
Summary: Under head coach Kirk Ferentz, Iowa has produced a lot of good offensive line talent, so it was very noteworthy when Wirfs became the first true freshman to start at tackle under Ferentz. While being the regular starter on the right side, he did play left tackle in Iowa's bowl game to end his freshman campaign, but he was back at right tackle in 2018 and 2019. After his junior year, Wirfs decided to make the jump to the NFL.
Wirfs sets up pretty well as a pass blocker, but he definitely has some issues to clean up in pass protection for taking on NFL edge rushers. Wirfs has an inclination to bend at the waist at times. While he is quick out of his stance, he needs to get more depth in his kick slide to avoid reaching after speed rushers coming around the corner. Wirfs also needs to get better at counter moves to the inside, and at not getting caught by surprise by bull rushes. Because of these issues, some feel Wirfs should be a right tackle or guard in the NFL even though he has the physical talent to play left tackle.
In the ground game, Wirfs is a plus blocker who can generate movement at the point of attack. He plays with good leverage as a run blocker and sustains his blocks well. Wirfs stays light on his hand to get out quick as a puller. His athleticism and quickness to move is seen with him as a puller, and that is an asset he brings to his NFL team. With his natural strength, Wirfs ties up defenders and is adept at fighting them out of their gap. There were times when Wirfs overextended and ended up on the ground too often, but he is a capable run blocker entering the next level.
Wirfs could be better off starting his NFL career at right tackle or guard. He could be very good at either position in the NFL. From there, his pro team could consider moving Wirfs to left tackle. They also might start him out at left tackle immediately, and while he has the skill set to do it, he could use more development for the pro game. Wirfs looks like a lock to be a top-12 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Player Comparison: Lane Johnson. In some ways, Wirfs reminds me of Johnson coming out of Oklahoma. Johnson (6-6, 317) and Wirfs are similar in size and left college as excellent athletes. Entering the next level, Johnson was a bit more polished, but I could see Wirfs being a top right tackle in the NFL with a left tackle skill set, just like Johnson. Johnson was a high first-round pick - fourth overall - in the 2013 NFL Draft, and Wirfs could go in the same range in 2020.