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Wisniewski a classic Raider for several reasons

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Posted April 29, 2011 @ 8:42 p.m. ET
By Eli Kaberon

Stefen Wisniewski is used to following in his family's footsteps. When he inked his national letter of intent to go play for Joe Paterno at Penn State, he followed in the tradition of his dad Leo and uncle Steve as a Nittany Lions coming from the Wisniewski family.

Now, after four standout seasons playing in State College, Pa., Wisniewski is following in those steps once again. He was taken with the 48th pick in the NFL draft by the Raiders, the team Steve Wisniewski starred in the trenches with for many years. Steve is currently the Raiders' offensive line coach, one who will be spending a lot of time with his nephew.

In 2010, the Raiders had one of the league's best rushing attacks in the NFL, gaining nearly 2,500 yards on the ground. But they could loose OLs Robert Gallery, Langston Walker and Khalif Barnes in free-agency — assuming there ever is a free-agent signing period. Those three players combined to play 43 games last season, making offensive line a high priority. Stefen Wisniewski is a versatile player who can fill in at a variety of spots, making him the perfect stopgap piece on a rebuilding offensive line.

Lots of people will wonder why Al Davis didn't pick a quarterback such as Ryan Mallett or a cornerback such as Brandon Harris. Both those are positions of need, and historically, Davis has gone for the flashy positions before working on the trenches. Last year, with picks like MLB Ronaldo McClain in Round One and OT Jared Veldheer in the third, Davis wised up and picked core players who will be successful for a long time in Oakland. Wisniewski is another of those types of players. If he can follow in his uncle's footsteps, the team is in good hands.

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