Penn State Senior
Smart, sound short-area blocker that has decent pop and is able to get position. Is a good knee bender, comes out low and gets his hands under defender's pads to get good leverage. Initiates contact with a nice punch and shows quick hands off the snap. Hard to bull rush because he's constantly lower than the defender. Shows some leg drive and can lock on as a drive blocker. Shows some ability to pull and hit his assignments in space and downfield. Does a nice job adjusting to the blitz. Finishes his blocks and flashes good mean streak.
Not very big. Short arms mean he's limited in space and when he's not confined to a phone booth. Will give up some ground to the power rusher up the middle. Not super fluid when asked to block and move in space. Doesn't have ideal footwork to work on an island against quicker interior defender. Needs to take better angles when working laterally in zone blocking scheme.
Wisniewski is a good center prospect because he's a smart, consistent player that does a good job in a phone booth. The son of Leo Wisniewski (Colts: 1982-84) and nephew of Steve (Raiders: 1989-01), he has good blood lines. Predominantly started at guard while at Penn State, serving in that role as a senior and sophomore. But did play center as a junior. In total started 39 career games at Penn State, with 25 at right guard, 13 at center, and 1 at left guard. He is a smart guy that was an Academic All-American and did a lot of community work.
Wisniewski played predominantly guard, but he'll struggle there at the next level. He's a short area guy that will struggle against bigger power players, but more likely to struggle against quickness because of his short areas. So he's better off moving to center where his lack of arm length won't hurt him, as well as his average feet. He can play guard in a pinch, but he's not a guy that is going to shine there for a full season. He has good potential as a pivot player, but it's tough to really be super high on him. His predecessor at center, A.Q. Shipley was another shorter-armed phone booth center that has struggled to stick in the league. But his blood lines will likely get him more opportunities than Shipley got, and his arms aren't as short as Shipley's so he won't be as limited. I'm not sure he's a guy you really want going up against 3-4 nose tackles on a weekly basis, but he does have a chance to compete with those guys even if he's not going to be a guy that is going to win the majority of those battles. He's probably best off getting a year on the bench before a team asks him to start in the middle just because he only really played one year at center at Penn State. But he flashes the smarts and tools to think he can be an above average to good center. I don't see him as a Pro Bowl, but I do think he'll be a good center like a Shaun O'Hara that can be a consistent blocker in a run-based offense.
Wisniewski is a better center prospect than Hawley just because he's a bit more physical in a phone booth to stand up against the bigger defensive tackles he'll see. And for that reason, he'll probably be a better run blocker at the point of attack. With a year on the bench, he could compete with Hawley in his second year for the starting spot and potentially win it. He's a good fit in Atlanta because he's smart and tough and should be a good starter for years to come.
Wisniewski is a good center prospect, but not an elite guy. He's a guy that can add good value in the latter half of the second round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Pass Blocking: 3.0
Run Blocking: 3.5
Mean Streak: 3.5
Scouting reports of the centers, guards, and tackles in the 2011 Draft.
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