In Search of a New Pair of Shoes

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — In January, Tristan Wirfs traded the 2000 Chevrolet Impala he has driven since his sophomore year of high school for a new truck. What could a first-round NFL draft pick wish for now?

“I might order a new pair of shoes,” Wirfs told reporters Friday during a 20-minute Zoom teleconference. “I have been needing a new pair of shoes for a while.”

2020 NFL Draft logo

That shouldn’t be a financial burden for Wirfs, the University of Iowa junior offensive tackle selected 13th overall by Tampa Bay during the opening round of Thursday’s NFL Draft. The Buccaneers traded up a spot to take Wirfs, a 6-foot-5, 322-pounder from Mount Vernon, Iowa.

Tampa Bay has had a busy offseason, signing Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady in March and tight end Rob Gronkowski last week.

“I couldn’t think of a better situation,” Wirfs said. “Getting to block for Tom Brady and getting to play next to Rob Gronkowski; I’m ecstatic with how everything went. I can’t wait to get down to Tampa and start working.”

Wirfs said he has spent his life in a “30-mile bubble” between Mount Vernon and Iowa City, so he looks forward to a move to Florida.

Here are a few highlights of Wirfs’ interview:

On protecting Brady, who won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots
He has to put his trust in me to protect him. Doing something like that during your rookie season is going to be a great experience. I’m excited to learn from him; he has been a student of the game who has been in the league for 20 years.”

We’ll Call Back on Monday
Wirfs had difficulty hearing members of the Tampa Bay organization when they called Thursday evening to congratulate the newest Buccaneer. They hope for a better connection at a later date.

“A whole clan in Mount Vernon was in my back yard, cars were flying by in front of my house honking, so [the Tampa Bay representatives] said they would give me a call Monday.”

Reuniting with Hawkeye Anthony Nelson with Buccaneers
He might have been the first person to text me. He taught me so much about pass rushers my freshman and sophomore seasons. We did player reports on each other; he gave me a scouting report on what I could do better, and I tried to give one on him.

“I love Anthony, it will be fun being his teammate again.”

Watching as Other Tackles were Selected in the First Round
It was different seeing those three tackles go before me. I’m a competitive person and it was a stinger for a little bit. Being able to go to the Bucs and being in the situation I’m in now, I would 100 percent have it this way. It stung a little bit at first, then it went away quick.”

What Number?
Wirfs said guard Ali Marpet from Hobart reached out to him after the draft. Marpet wears No. 74 with the Buccaneers and informed Wirfs it is time to look for a new number.

“I was like, that’s fine,” Wirfs said.

Thoughts on A.J. Epenesa Sill on the Board
Wirfs spoke to defensive end A.J. Epenesa on Thursday prior to the draft.

He said ‘You’re my uso (brother in Samoan) for life,'” Wirfs said.

“People just need to put on the tape and see what he does on the field. A lot of teams missed out and someone will get an absolute steal in the draft. He will get there with a chip on his shoulder and he will be a force.”

A Call from the Head Hawkeye, Kirk Ferentz
“He called (Thursday), wished me luck and said he was proud of me. He has been so supportive through this whole process. He wished me luck before the NFL Combine, congratulated me after the Combine. I love coach Ferentz, I always will. He has been the best coach I have ever had and I know there are 100 other guys who can say the same thing.”

To read the University of Iowa’s NFL Draft Central Page, click HERE.

2020 NFL Draft
Round 1 Tristan Wirfs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Tackle
2019 NFL Draft
Round 1 T.J. Hockenson Detroit Lions Tight End
Round 1 Noah Fant Denver Broncos Tight End
Round 4 Anthony Nelson Tampa Bay Buccanners Defensive End
Round 4 Amani Hooker Tennessee Titans Defensive Back
2018 NFL Draft
Round 2 James Daniels Chicago Bears Offensive Line
Round 2 Josh Jackson Green Bay Packers Defensive Back
Round 4 Josey Jewell Denver Broncos Linebacker
2017 NFL Draft
Round 3 C.J. Beathard San Francisco 49ers Quarterback
Round 4 Jaleel Johnson Minnesota Vikings Defensive Line
Round 5 George Kittle San Francisco 49ers Tight End
Round 5 Desmond King Los Angeles Chargers Defensive Back
2016 NFL Draft
Round 7 Austin Blythe Indianapolis Colts Offensive Line
2015 NFL Draft
Round 1 Brandon Scherff Washington Redskins Offensive Line
Round 3 Carl Davis Baltimore Ravens Defensive Line
Round 4 Andrew Donnal St. Louis Rams Offensive Line
2014 NFL Draft
Round 3 C.J. Fiedorowicz Houston Texans Tight End
Round 3 Christian Kirksey Cleveland Browns Linebacker
Round 4 Anthony Hitchens Dallas Cowboys Linebacker
2013 NFL Draft
Round 5 Micah Hyde Green Bay Packers Cornerback
2012 NFL Draft
Round 1 Riley Reiff Detroit Offensive Line
Round 4 Mike Daniels Green Bay Defensive Line
Round 5 Adam Gettis Washington Offensive Line
Round 5 Shaun Prater Cincinnati Defensive back
Round 6 Marvin McNutt Philadelphia Wide receiver
Round 7 Jordan Bernstine Washington Defensive back
2011 NFL Draft
Round 1 Adrian Clayborn Tampa Bay Defensive end
Round 4 Christian Ballard Minnesota Defensive Line
Round 5 Ricky Stanzi Kansas City Quarterback
Round 5 Karl Klug Tennessee Defensive Line
Round 5 Julian Vandervelde Philadelphia Offensive Line
Round 6 Tyler Sash New York Giants Defensive back
2010 NFL Draft
Round 1 Bryan Bulaga Green Bay Offensive Line
Round 2 Pat Angerer Indianapolis Linebacker
Round 3 Amari Spievey Detroit Defensive back
Round 3 Tony Moeaki Kansas City Tight end
Round 4 A.J. Edds Miami Linebacker
Round 7 Kyle Calloway Buffalo Offensive Line
2009 NFL Draft
Round 3 Shonn Greene New York Jets Running back
Round 3 Bradley Fletcher St. Louis Defensive back
Round 4 Seth Olsen Denver Offensive Line
Round 6 Brandon Myers Oakland Tight end
2008 NFL Draft
Round 3 Charles Godfrey Carolina Defensive back
Round 4 Kenny Iwebema Arizona Defensive end
Round 6 Mike Humpal Pittsburgh Linebacker
2007 NFL Draft
Round 3 Marshal Yanda Baltimore Offensive Line
Round 4 Scott Chandler San Diego Tight end
Round 7 Mike Elgin New England Offensive Line
2006 NFL Draft
Round 1 Chad Greenway Minnesota Linebacker
Round 3 Abdul Hodge Green Bay Linebacker
2005 NFL Draft
Round 2 Matt Roth Miami Defensive end
Round 2 Jonathan Babineaux Atlanta Defensive Line
Round 4 Sean Considine Philadelphia Defensive Back
Round 6 Tony Jackson Seattle Tight end
Round 6 Pete McMahon Oakland Offensive Line
2004 NFL Draft
Round 1 Robert Gallery Oakland Offensive Line
Round 2 Bob Sanders Indianapolis Defensive Back
Round 3 Nate Kaeding San Diego Place kicker
Round 7 Jared Clauss Tennessee Defensive Line
Round 7 Erik Jensen St. Louis Tight end
2003 NFL Draft
Round 1 Dallas Clark Indianapolis Tight end
Round 2 Eric Steinbach Cincinnati Offensive Line
Round 2 Bruce Nelson Carolina Center
Round 5 Derek Pagel New York Jets Defensive Back
Round 5 Ben Sobieski Buffalo Offensive Line
2002 NFL Draft
Round 2 Ladell Betts Washington Running Back
Round 5 Aaron Kampman Green Bay Defensive Line
Round 6 Kahlil Hill Atlanta Wide receiver
2001 NFL Draft
Round 6 Kevin Kasper Denver Wide receiver
2000 NFL Draft
Round 5 Austin Wheatley New Orleans Tight end
Round 6 Matt Bowen St. Louis Defensive Back