Stefen and Rolando


Stefen Wisniewski, anointed the Raiders center as fast as Hue Jackson could get the words out of his mouth, will be counted upon to anchor the Raiders’ point of attack for the next several years.

Wisniewski’s selection continues a trend in that the Raiders took a smart, studious player who appears to have a real appetite for the game to anchor what has occasionally been a soft middle.

The Raiders obviously differed with any opinions from draft analysts and the like that young Wiz was a smallish zone blocker ill-equipped to deal with the beastly nose tackles prevalent in so may 3-4 defensive schemes.

For what it’s worth, and it’s not worth much considering what really matters is the ability to control the line of scrimmage, Wisniewski was on of the better interviews at the NFL scouting combine. He welcomed any and all questions about comparisons to his uncle, which can be found here in a story I filed at the combine.

He was a far better interview than his uncle, who is an interesting guy in casual conversation but has in most cases kept it as bland as possible for public consumption, something he readily acknowledges. When I asked Stefen about Steve’s reputation for being a dirty player at the combine, he answered the question in good humor rather than recoiling in disgust.

Stefen instead seemed to revel in it, joking and rolling his eyes about how Steve told him the reputation was a “big misunderstanding,” while at the same time displaying the same sort of belief that picking off an unsuspecting defender at the whistle _ or a fraction of a second later _ was something to be saluted rather than scorned.

When asked to compare the selection of Wisniewski to that of Rolando McClain a year ago, this was Jackson’s response:

“I think you’ve got to be strong up the middle and I truly believe that playing football. I said that again the first time I met with you guys that we’re going to be very good on both sides of the ball and it starts with the line. It’s starts in the trenches. And those guys who are up front, the Richard Seymours, the Tommy Kellys, the Stefen Wisniewski’s, those guys got to make sure they’re dominant, dominant personalities and dominant, dominant football players. And they’ve also got to be smart and love to play the game. So we’re building that. I told you guys last night we’re becoming something and I’m very excited about where we’re headed.”

I’ll be back at it Saturday morning (oops, it already is Saturday morning), with no chat scheduled until Sunday . . .


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • April 30th, 2011 at 12:19 am
    55.Bob Marley Says:
    April 29th, 2011 at 11:28 pm
    Also, 5 time pro bowler Andre Gurode is considered a big Center and it turns out he’s 6′4 318 (I always thought he was bigger)…that’s 1 inch taller and 5 pounds heavier than Wisniewski.

    This kid will turn into an excellent player real soon.


    Gurode is a big C @ 6′4″ and 318#’s He was up to 330 at one point in college, but as expected that was “corrected” my his NFL coaches. Gurode has also gained greatly in the strength department since his draft dayz.

    Wiz is a Strong, Fast, Smart, Big and Tall NFL C. He will get the job done.

    All This will be no display early and often the year. in game 1 hell see Von Miller, and Nate Irving.oh and Thomas, Marcus and Elvas Dungervill will be back.

    Agains the Lyons he will see Nick Fairley, and King Kong Suh.
    With the bills he/they will see Marcell Dareus, Heard, Kellen, Aaron Mayben, and Kelvin Sheppard

    NY Jets Ellis, Kenrick,,, Pouha, Sione,,,Pryce, Trevor,,,Muhammad Wilkerson,,, Saun Ellis

    Browns led by Phil Taylor, Jabaal Sheard, Adams, Titus, Ivey, Travis, Rubin, Ahtyba

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Don’t believe the hype, we are earning another A+ for the draft so far!

    Satele was terrible for most of the year. He played decent football in the last few weeeks of the season, but against the big 3-4 nts’ he was overmatched. Wiz 2.0 is just what the doctor ordered. Hu Jack needs hogs to run our offense. There is hype about wiz lack of strenghth, & iif he is better in a zone scheme? Wiz is a powerhouse at 318. Watched him play at Penn state & he was a beast clearing holes in the run game. In the 6-7 games I watched he didn’t give up a sack either. Excellent pick.

    VanDyke was given a low rate, why? Because he was benched? Maybe he was sat down for behavior. Vandyke is best suited to be a classic press cover corner. Most teams dint play neatly ad much press as we do. So clearly teams that play more zone ( most teams) wouldn’t have this man to man specialist rated very highly. The lack of demand foe his skill set doesn’t diminish his talent, that fills our need like an isotoner glove! I am confident in rod woodson & his ability to recognize what it takes to play this particular defense. After all not only was woodson one of the best dbs’ to ever play the game, but he also played superior football right here in silver & black! Not to mention the fact that he played for chuck b who is back for another turn. I believe Davis, chuck b, woodson & hu Jack all like this kid.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    I am so glad we didn’t take any of those qbs. We have found solid talent at position we need to reform our team. Hu Jack says all of the rightthings. This cat fires me up. Very much the way do many of us used to enjoy listening to chucky. I also thought it fun watching chucky reshape the team in his image. I see hu Jack doing the same thing. Davis is giving hu Jack lots of room. I think it’s because they share many of the same ideals. There is a new synergy in Raider country. Welcome to HU-JACK CITY!!!!

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Barksdale is another great pick. He is huge with good technique, & experienced in the big bad sec. He is versatile, & can play in different spots on the line. He is an upgrade at tackle or guard.

    Veldheer, Campbell, Wiz, Barksdale…. Wow our line is going to dominate no matter where these young maulers line up. The NFL is in trouble!

  • Brandon Fusco, C, Slippery Rock
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 316.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.20.
    Combine 40 Time: 5.09.
    Pro Day 40 Time: .
    Benchx225: . Arm: 33 3/4.
    Projected Round (2011): 4-6.
    4/14/11: Brandon Fusco has generated a ton of interest from the Eagles and Giants.


    Marcus Cannon, G, TCU
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 349.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.34.
    Combine 40 Time: 5.20.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: 33. Arm: 34.
    Projected Round (2011): 2.
    3/12/11: The one thing worth noting from Marcus Cannon’s Pro Day is that he weighed in at 349. He was 358 at the Combine.

    2/27/11: Marcus Cannon weighed in at 6-5, 358. Based on his size, you’d expect him to be fat, slow and lethargic. On the contrary, Cannon did not appear as though he was anything close to 358. He ran a 5.20 40 and looked very fluid in all the drills. Cannon seems to have cemented his Round 2 status. He may even be selected at the end of Round 1 if a team believes he can play right tackle.

    10/2/10: Cannon has been a physic


    Carl Johnson, G/RT, Florida
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 361.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.45.
    Combine 40 Time: 5.44.
    Pro Day 40 Time: .
    Benchx225: . Arm: 36 1/2.
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.
    4/4/10: Was highly recruited coming


    James Brewer, OT, Indiana
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 328.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.08.
    Combine 40 Time: 5.18.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: 29. Arm: 35 3/4.
    Projected Round (2011): 2-3.
    3/20/11: James Brewer stood on his Combine numbers, but had a Rodger Saffold-like workout according to some observers, including Gil Brandt. Brewer had a private workout with Cleveland afterward.


    Derek Newton, OT, Arkansas State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 315.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.00.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.86.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225:31 . Arm: 34 1/8.
    Projected Round (2011): 4-7.
    3/19/11: Derek Newton didn’t have to run the 40 at his Pro Day because of a great Combine. He did only the positional drills in front of 12 teams.

    2/27/11: “Derek… Newton… is a… great… playa…” This is what I wrote when Derek Newton ran his 40 time. Despite his 6-5, 315-pound frame, Newton ran a 4.86 on Saturday. Expect Al Davis to target him early on Day 3.

  • The Blackhole

    I wonder if this means we would of Drafted Chris Long, Howie Long’s son, had he fell to us?

  • Violent Hands

    Nice draft so far DVD and Barksdale both have alot of upside and Wiz will be a nasty Centre

  • BoJackson

    …The Tommy Kelly’s? Let’s not get too carried away.


    6.The Blackhole Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 1:35 am
    I wonder if this means we would of Drafted Chris Long, Howie Long’s son, had he fell to us?


    Are you kidding?
    Sure Al wanted him and would have picked him.


    Mistic1 Tha Supavillain Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 12:37 am
    Barksdale is another great pick. He is huge with good technique, & experienced in the big bad sec. He is versatile, & can play in different spots on the line. He is an upgrade at tackle or guard.


    Barksdale is big but not that athletic or quick. They may not run through him but you’re going to see a lot of guys running around him in the Henderson tradition.
    Also, why take Barksdale when Boling was possible?
    On the other hand he’s pretty smart and we very much need OL guys.


    4.Mistic1 Tha Supavillain Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Veldheer, Campbell, Wiz, Barksdale…. Wow our line is going to dominate no matter where these young maulers line up. The NFL is in trouble!


    It was strange to me that Hue immediately named Wiz as the center since he’s played mostly guard and Satele was actually playing an improved game towards the end of the year.
    Shouldn’t he earn the job first?

    I was pizzed when Al fired Cable because, although Cable wasn’t that great of a coach, it meant starting all over again after a year of some improvement.
    Now it seems like Al’s throwing a hand grenade into the offensive line because he
    -got rid of Gallery-who was a big part of us being the second best running team in the league in 2010 and a big help to Veldheer.
    -doesn’t plan to resign Satele.

    Our OL is going to be pretty new and changing center is a big change.
    That’s going to take quite a bit of jelling.


    8.BoJackson Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 3:08 am
    …The Tommy Kelly’s? Let’s not get too carried away.


    C’mon Bo! Kelly lost a lot of weight and was really improving last year.
    Maybe he was afraid that Seymour would give him the Big Ben treatment.


    The best pick in this draft?


    Al’s favorite pick in this draft?
    Van Dyke.


    The dumbest pick in this draft?
    Van Dyke.
    You think Huff can’t tackle? You aint seen nothing yet.


    Get a grip Al!

    RAIDERS UBER ALLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 30th, 2011 at 4:26 am
    The dumbest pick in this draft?
    Van Dyke.
    You think Huff can’t tackle? You aint seen nothing yet.
    Deion Sanders couldn’t tackle either.

  • I want more offensive lineman today.

  • Pretty Rick

    Van Dyke with his 4.2 speed will most likely be our return specialist. Jacoby ford has earned his way into the recieving lineup so I can see Van Dyke taking his spot on the kick return. I remember last year people clowned the Jacoby Ford pick because he was known as the 40 guy, but I’ll be damned if he hasn’t become the fan favorite ahead of Murphy and Heyward Bey. I do think The first thing the Raiders should do with Van Dyke is lock him inside the weight room until he adds on 15lbs. 5 reps at the combine tells me he has no strength, hell,,I’m 185lbs and I’ve done 14 reps and that’s after doing a set and I’m way older. Still not a bad pick.

  • The draft couldn’t have been any worse for Ryan Mallet. Not only did he fall, but he went to a team where he most likely won’t get a chance to play for another 5 years.

  • Pretty Rick

    I think Ryan Mallet fell into the perfect situation. He’s not ready to jump right in immediately anyway so who better to sit behind for a few years than Brady.

  • YoungAmerican

    Hopefully Al got it out of his system with Van Dyke. Passed on Curtis Brown, one of the better press-man CBs in his draft. Way more physical, way more willing to mix it up against the run. Really disappointing.

    Other than that, I like the other two picks. I had Barksdale as a 4th round prospect, so end of the 3rd isn’t much of a reach at all.

  • raidertbone

    I really like the offensive line we are putting together. Veldheer has already proven himself and I think this will be Bruce Campbell’s breakout year. Bring in Wiz (and getting rid of that piece of crap Satele!)and adding Barksdale are all plusses – finally: We are doing something right across the line! I would like to see us now focus on defensive line and defensive back for the rest of the draft. Once free agency kicks in, let’s see if we can pull the trigger and bring in Kevin Kolb.

  • YoungAmerican

    There’s just no value to the Van Dyke pick. He could have been selected with the 5th rounder. Frustrating. I really hope he ends up being a big-time player.

  • raidertbone

    C’mon American … VD was the fastest player at the combine. Did you think Al was going to pass him up? No chance!

  • Pretty Rick

    I WILL say that Van Dyke will be a BEAST on Madden 12 though,, I guarantee you his speed will be no less than a 98,,,but his strength will be no more than a 45.

  • manmarquez

    Van Dyke probably has a lot to offer and demonstrate, the problem is that it was selected early and lost the possibility of something better. It’s all, not make exaggerated drama.

  • Bauce Rules

    Was out by Jack London last night at the major dive bar and lo and behold Raiders strength and conditioning coach Brad Roll. Always a cool mellow down to earth dude too. Humble that he would wanna be around us regulars. Said all the coaches love Van Dyke including him. They think Rod Woodson gonna do wonders with the young guys

  • Bauce Rules

    I’m not frustrated at all . Van Dyke can cover and our pass rush will help a guy like him

  • fingers

    Good draft so far… No complaints here…