Player prowl: Panthers could get godsend in Bucs OT Tristan Wirfs

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Being that this is their first matchup against the Carolina Panthers in 2021, Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans who are frantically clicking into this post may not be acquainted with this series. So, allow us to give you the haps.

Welcome to our player prowl, where we hypothetically steal a player from each week’s opposition. And, lucky you guys, it’s Tampa’s turn!

Admittedly, this was easily amongst our most difficult decisions all season. That shouldn’t come as a shock either considering, well, the Bucs are the defending Super Bowl champions.

For that choice, we could go with either standout receiver in Mike Evans or Chris Godwin. Heck, even tight end Rob Gronkowski is particularly interesting given the Panthers’ struggling passing attack.

We could also look on defense—where the likes of defensive tackle Vita Vea, linebackers Lavonte David and Devin White and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. sit. That unit also boasts some fiery pass-rushing specialists in Shaquil Barrett and Joe Tryon.

But how about the elephant (or GOAT) in the room? Could Tom Brady be the pick?

Well, with all due respect to the sport’s most accomplished player, no. A 44-year-old Brady, no matter how good he still looks, wouldn’t be a wise investment for this now unstable rebuild. Just ask Robby Anderson.

Instead, we’ll make a long-term investment on a longtime problem in Carolina and come away with offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs.

Wirfs, who was passed up on by the Panthers once already in the 2020 draft, won’t get away here. Last year’s 13th overall pick has made a considerable impact in his first two NFL seasons and is simply too good to look off from,

Over his 1,371 career pass-blocking snaps, the newly-minted Pro Bowler has allowed just 34 pressures and three sacks. That’s helped him earn him Pro Football Focus grades of 81.8 overall in 2020 and 84.8 through 15 weeks of 2021.

The only problem is that the 6-foot-5, 320-pounder has played exclusively at right tackle, where the Panthers have a stud of their own in Taylor Moton. But guess what? We don’t care.

Wirfs is undoubtedly one of the brightest youngsters in the game, let alone at his position. You don’t let talent like that, especially in a dire area of need, loose.

Team these two monsters together and figure it out. After all, it’s much better than whatever the franchise is currently throwing out there, no?

Did we get it right?

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