The Iowa football program has a reputation of developing quality NFL offensive linemen. Brandon Scherff, Bryan Bulaga, Marshall Yanda, Riley Reiff and James Daniels have all played under head coach Kirk Ferentz. Junior right tackle Tristan Wirfs could be the next NFL linemen, especially after breaking the program’s record in the hang clean.
Wirfs did four reps of 450 pounds to break the program record. Scherff did three reps at 443 pounds and he was taken with the fifth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Since entering the NFL, Scherff has started in 54 games and has made a pair of Pro Bowls.
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Wirfs was an honorable mention All-Big Ten performer in 2018, so he has the potential to be a dominant lineman in 2019. Scherff was not recognized as an all-conference lineman until his senior season, so Wirfs is a little ahead of schedule. The two-time Pro Bowler was unanimously named a First Team All-American in 2014 when he won the Outland Trophy.
Wirfs’ weight room exploits prove that he has the ability to be a special player for the Hawkeyes in 2019. His strength at the point of attack can be used to generate huge holes in the running game. He needs to improve his technique in pass protection as opposing pass rushers had some success against him.
Wirfs’ return to Iowa is smart as he can potentially become a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Offensive tackles Jawaan Taylor and Andre Dillard were not viewed as first-round picks entering the 2018 season, but are now locks to be taken within the first 20 picks. Wirfs has the potential to do the same thing and is in the perfect place to improve his game.
Scherff and Yanda have made multiple Pro Bowls, while Bulaga and Reiff were both first round picks. Iowa has the coaching staff in place to make Wirfs a potential first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Wirfs’ work in the weight room is very impressive and is a sign that he is willing to put in the work.