Tristan Wirfs’ dream of making the pros took a little longer than expected.
Wirfs was taken No. 13 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the opening round of the NFL Draft on Thursday.
It was a few slots lower than most projections, but it’s actually a promising situation with the Bucs.
“It was a stinger for a little bit, but then being able to go to the Bucs and be in the situation I am in right now … 100 percent would rather have it this way,” Wirfs said.
A wardrobe choice a day earlier might have provided some unintentional foreshadowing.
“On Wednesday, I just grabbed this out of my dresser and was wearing it, this Buccaneers shirt,” said Wirfs via Zoom interview. “I have a picture of it. I was wearing this shirt a day before the draft and that’s who I ended up getting picked by.”
Instead of being part of a rebuild, Wirfs now joins an immediate contender with one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history at the helm.
“I think there’s a lot of emotions that come with it, you know, because I grew up watching Tom Brady on TV you know. He’s been in league since a year after I was born. I’m looking forward to it. To do something like that you know your rookie season, it’s gonna be gonna be incredible, it’s gonna be a great experience.”
Buccaneers general manager said Jason Licht said taking the former Hawkeye became a priority as the first round played out.
“We saw that the run of tackles happened a little bit later than we expected and then we thought that there was a chance that somebody could come up and get him. We didn’t want to risk it,” Licht said. “I told him that you’re a Buccaneer. You’re going to be playing for Bruce Arians. You’re going to be playing with Tom Brady,” Licht said.
Wirfs said he believes the Bucs offense is a great fit for his skill set, which overrides the disappointment of falling a few slots in the draft.
“Looking back I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Wirfs said. “Getting to block for a Hall of Fame quarterback like Tom Brady in your first year. I’m kind of bummed by this whole virus situation. I just want to get down there and get going.”
For more Hawkeye coverage, follow @AdamJRossow and @HawkeyeHQ on Twitter and Facebook — and sign up for our HawkeyeHQ.com pregame and postgame newsletter. All you need is an email address and we’ll send you a newsletter every Friday and Monday during football season.