Position Ranking: #3
Strengths: Plays with very good overall technique and balance; brings his feet along in space and isn’t easily tripped up. Shows the ability to be effective on pulls inside and out, sealing the edge, and clearing the inside running lane. Gets to the second level and quickly locates a target, consistently neutralizing linebackers. A technician in run support. Uses angles and hand placement to gain leverage and create a crease for the running back.
Very good at establishing an inside fit on the defender and sustains blocks in both run support and pass protection; maintains hand placement even if he loses his base. Sets himself quickly in pass protection while maintaining choppy feet to mirror the defender. Very good lower body strength when he sinks his hips; holds the point of attack with consistency when he plays with bend and locks out his arms. Able to handle much bigger defenders when he sinks and anchors. Has mastered his upper body technique, and uses arms and hands extremely well. A three year starter and hasn’t missed a game due to injury. Started 26 games at right guard and 13 games at center (2009 season).
Needs Improvement: Lacks initial quickness off the snap and often has to recover or reposition himself. Isn’t always able to get secure on the defender with his lateral blocking; loses the step. Has better lower body strength than upper body strength and could use more size up top. Doesn’t play with a mean streak and is unable to overpower defenders off the ball. There were a few miscues along the interior in games I observed which led to sacks (between him and center). Has adequate athleticism, but won’t be as effective one-on-one at the next level. Doesn’t always sink hips and can be driven into the pocket.
Bottom Line: Stefan Wisniewski will immediately bring a reliable, technique sound presence to an NFL offensive line. He won’t make many mistakes or be a weak link along the front wall. What he lacks in pure size and strength he makes up for with blocking angles and technique commitment. His ability to play center and guard will also add to his value and bring depth at both positions.
I feel he could be a very good starter in the NFL if he is able to add size and strength to his upper body; technique and lower body strength are very good but upper body strength is adequate at best when translating to the next level. My concern was that his size and strength hadn’t improved from last season, so it may be that Wisniewski has maxed out size to his frame. If this is the case it may keep him from reaching his full potential, but shouldn’t keep him from being a reliable player for the team that drafts him.
Draft Projection: Mid 2nd to early 3rd round.