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Stefen Wisniewski: The Longer the Lockout, the More He Shouldn't Start at Center

EVANSTON, IL - OCTOBER 31: Brandon Beachum #3 of the Penn State Nittany Lions hops over teammate Stefen Wisniewski #61 and Brian Peters #10 of the Northwestern Wildcats to score a touchdown at Ryan Field on October 31, 2009 in Evanston, Illinois. Penn State defeated Northwestern 34-13. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIJune 15, 2011

With the 48th overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Raiders took guard/center Stefen Wisniewski from Penn State.  After making the pick, Hue Jackson said that Wisniewski was the Raiders starting center immediately.

Wisniewski is a bright, intelligent player.  He had a 3.9 GPA in the classroom and was an All-American on the football field. 

But playing center in the NFL is a tough job both physically and mentally.  With the lockout now in its third month, Wisniewski has not had the time he needs to prepare and learn the playbook.

Usually, rookies have mini-camps and OTA's with the team during the spring and then training camp in the summer.  This year, with the lockout, Wisniewski has had a four day players camp in Georgia as his only preparation for his rookie season.

As much as I want to see "Wiz II" wearing the Silver and Black and mowing down defenders, I don't won't to see him learning on the field in a trial by fire situation.

The Raiders already have Samson Satele, a capable center, on the roster who has been in the NFL for four years.  Satele is not the best center in the NFL, being replaced by Jared Veldheer last year for opening day, but he may be a better fit than "Wiz II" for now.

The Raiders have thrown rookies into the fire before and watched them struggle to adjust with normal off-seasons to prepare.  A four-day camp in Georgia, and maybe a training camp depending on how the labor meetings go, doesn't seem like enough to prepare a center, the most important lineman, for the NFL.

Centers call the blocking when at the line of scrimmage, it is critical to have a center who is experienced and knows the ways of the NFL.

Wiz II is the definite future of the Raiders offensive line, but I don't know about the present.

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