Stefen Wisniewski, welcome to the Oakland Raider Nation! In a move that had been widely speculated the Oakland Raiders went with Penn St. guard/center, Stefen Wisniewski. Wisniewski is coming off of a season in which he played center, but with Samson Satele likely returning and Robert Gallery likely departing I think we can go ahead and pencil him in as an opening week guard for the Raiders.
This is a very solid and safe pick. It fills one of the Raiders biggest needs, and this should pay dividends now and in the future. His versatility along the line will prove to be invaluable. And after more than a few draft picks where the Raiders selected players no one was talking about it is reassuring to draft guys we almost all thought made sense.
Let's get to know Wisniewski video style and then with some scouting reports after the jump.
A natural bender who showcases good flexibility and can really fire off the ball and get into opposing linemen quickly. Has a strong lower half and does a nice job quickly scoop blocking around defensive linemen, driving his legs through contact and washing defenders away from the play. Plays with natural leverage and consistently gets under his man and locks him out at the point of attack. Possesses the body control to chip and get out to the second level, where he exhibits a jarring punch on contact. Displays good technique and bend in all areas of his game and can really sit into his base and anchor inside. Continues to rework his hands and fight for inside leverage and is really tough to disengage from in the run game. Now, gets a bit ahead of himself on slide down blocks at times and will lose his balance trying to stay on defenders down the line. However, he's a better in-line run blocker than given credit for, quickly firing off the football, pumping his legs through contact and creating a bit of surge inside while maintaining his balance through the play.
Snaps and steps quickly and showcases natural lateral ability, smoothly changing directions and keeping his base down when asked to mirror in space. Is surprisingly heavy handed, consistently is able to get under the pad level of defenders and does a nice job moving his feet and sliding with opponents through contact. Occasionally gets caught overextending into blocks from his upper body and can be slipped at times, but for the most part is very patient and technically sound into contact.
Impression: You can tell he comes from a family of former NFL linemen. He's technically sound, moves well through contact, sticks to blocks and looks like a guy capable of starting from day one at the next level.
Here is what NFL.com had to say:
Wisniewski comes from a football family and has the versatility to be a quality backup at the next level. He has great football intelligence, quickly recognizes stunts and blitzes and is rarely caught out of position. However, he lacks the lower body strength to generate a consistent push in the running game and will not thwart the bull rush in the NFL. He played guard early in his career and can line up at all three interior offensive line positions. Wisniewski has the smarts to make up for his lack of strength and will likely be a later round pick.