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Hawks in the NFL: Tristan Wirfs has doubters?

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Yea, it’s hard to believe...

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Yes, believe it or not, one of the topics of conversation on the ‘ol internet this past week revolved around Tristan Wirfs and the topic of whether or not he’s as a good as people think he is. All of us here already know the answer to that ridiculous question, but I guess haters just come with the territory of being great.

As always, keep in mind, this is not meant to be a full update on every former Hawkeye in the NFL. This is more catered to the former Hawkeyes who stood out or had something interesting or important happen to them this past week.

Hope you enjoy and go Hawks!

TRISTAN WIRFS

We’ve reached a point in Tristan Wirfs’ NFL career where he’s so ridiculously good that he’s starting to get “doubters” or “haters.”

Ignore the fact that Tristian Wirfs hasn’t given up a single sack in 21 straight NFL games… Ignore the fact that the guy is a human bulldozer (the two rushing TD videos with Wirfs leading the way below aren’t the same one) and ignore that Wirfs’ raw power, explosion and technique allow him to manhandle 90% of NFL players… At least, that’s people are arguing you should overlook because … wait for it … HE HAS TOM BRADY!!! Therefore, his job is made super easy because Brady is the ultimate pocket manipulator and dials up perfect play calls to make everyone’s job super easy!

Listen, Brady is great, but if you think Brady is making Wirfs’ life easier and not vice versa … you’re literally just throwing s**t at the wall and hoping it sticks … or you don’t have eyes.

JAMES DANIELS

At this point in his NFL journey, odds are, we’ve already seen who former Hawkeye, James Daniels, is and who he can be.

Luckily for him, who he is a very capable drive blocker in the run game as well as a league average to slightly above league average pass blocker with plus athleticism. Daniels has almost undoubtedly played himself into an extension this season, whether that extension comes with the Chicago Bears or in the form a new contract with another NFL team. Point is, he’ll be starting in the league for years to come.

NOAH FANT

A noticeable trend this season for the Broncos’ offense is not utilizing Noah Fant in the passing game the same way most NFL teams utilize an athletic tight end, as a lot of his usage this season has come as a run blocker, which is peculiar.

That said, this past weekend we saw a change to that trend, as Fant played a majority of the offense’s snaps and was heavily utilized in the passing game accounting for nine catches on 11 targets for 97 yards and one touchdown.

Imagine that. Throw Noah Fant the ball and make him a focal point and good things will happen.

Also, go ahead and enjoy this “mic’d up” edition with Noah Fant:

T.J. HOCKENSEN

Former Hawkeye and top 10 selection, T.J. Hockensen had a massive bounce back in week six, despite the fact that the Detroit Lions ended up getting throttled by upstart Cincinnati Bengals.

In the contest, Hockensen recorded eight catches on 11 targets for 74 yards and it easily could’ve been more had quarterback Jared Goff not misfired on a few passes. That said, Hockensen remains one of the lone bright spots on this winless Lions team and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.

MICAH HYDE

Listen… week after week we talk about Micah Hyde’s leadership and playmaking and the play he made on Monday Night Football against freak of nature, Derrick Henry, embodied both.

That said, the amount of guts and toughness it takes to stand in front a full speed freight train like that and square up to make a tackle and actually make the tackle… can’t be understated.

There’s a reason boxing and MMA operate based on weight class and and this is a perfect example. Well done, Micah Hyde.

CHAUNCEY GOLSTON

Former Hawkeye Chauncey Golston is starting to have a breakout rookie campaign on this surprisingly good Cowboys defense, as his performance over the past 3 games has been remarkable, especially considering he missed all of OTAs and the preseason.

In addition to a key fumble recovery on Sunday, Golston also recorded a tackle for loss and received praise from owner Jerry Jones.

DAVIYON NIXON

Rookie defensive lineman, Daviyon Nixon, has been lining up in a number of different alignments for the Carolina Panthers so far this season and he just continues to show why, in the not so distant future, he’ll be recognized league-wide as a complete wrecking ball.

The guy has everything you look for to be special and the flashes we’ve already seen from him provide cause for excitement.

CHRISTIAN KIRKSEY

Christian Kirksey will undoubtedly be receiving another contract after this season due to his play on the field. However, his leadership on this lowly Houston Texans team is what’s earning him league-wide respect this season, as he’s continually shown himself to be a player that others gravitate towards in that locker room, despite it being his first year in the building.

GREG MABIN

Former Hawkeye, Greg Mabin, has possibly had one of the more wild reappearance acts I can personally remember in a while…

Last week, we highlighted how Mabin would be signing with Arizona Cardinals practice squad after seemingly being a blip on the radar for NFL teams five weeks into the season. That said … Mabin has announced that he will be terminating his own practice squad contract in order to sign a contract with the Tennessee Titans that will place on him on the ACTIVE ROSTER!!!

This is huge news for Mabin and it’s impossible not to be excited for him and this amazing opportunity. We wish him the best of luck!

COLE BANWART

In some unfortunate news, former Hawkeye offensive guard, Cole Banwart was released from his practice squad contract with the New York Giants on Tuesday.

Banwart’s first year in the NFL has been bizarre, as a great performance in the preseason has essentially led to him bouncing around and then being cut from practice squads… Banwart surprised many with his athleticism at Iowa’s pro day during the draft process and technically speaking is a fairly sound by NFL standards.

It’ll be interesting to see whether or not this is the end of the road for Banwart in the NFL.

BARRINGTON WADE

As we begin to wrap this up, let’s give a big congratulations to former Hawkeye linebacker, Barrington Wade, who was officially signed to the Denver Broncos active roster from the practice squad on Tuesday.

Wade appears to be in line for at least opportunity on special teams due to injuries if not a shot at legitimate playing time on defense. We wish him the best!