Although he's impressed with his athleticism in early practices, Wirfs had some struggles in Monday's first padded session of camp while lining up with the first-team offense, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Carmen Vitali of the Buccaneers' official site previously reported the heralded rookie first-round pick had looked every bit the part in Friday's practice while moving around particularly well in run blocking, but that was a non-padded, non-contact session. Stroud notes coach Bruce Arians remarked after Monday's practice that Wirfs needed to get his pad level down after just standing straight up in last week's practices, a tweak which the talented Iowa product should be able to implement in short order. Wirfs won't have the benefit of preseason games to prepare for the starting right tackle job, but he'll nevertheless receive a formidable on-field tutorial while facing the Buccaneers' array of talented pass rushers daily between now and a Week 1 date with the Saints on Sept. 13.
Wirfs is considered to have the versatility and athleticism to be an immediate starter at right tackle, Luke Easterling of SI.com reports.
Considered by multiple analysts to be the best raw athlete of a deep 2020 tackle class, Wirfs could be set as a foundational piece on the Buccaneers offensive line for the next decade-plus. The Iowa product is considered to be equally proficient in his run blocking and pass protection, and Easterling notes the consensus seems to be Wirfs could have been a top-five pick based on his talent and track record. With veteran tackle Demar Dotson (hamstring) not re-signed this offseason, Wirfs should be able to slide into a starting role if he holds his own in training camp and preseason.