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Stefen Wisniewski evaluates 2012 draft prospects

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By Eli Kaberon

Every day for nearly four years, Stefen Wisniewski and Devon Still battled on the practice fields of Penn State University. Starting in 2007, when both players were raw freshman just learning their way, going through 2010, when they each were All-Big Ten selections helping the Nittany Lions reach the Capital One Bowl, the two lineman went at it. Wisniewski, the bruising center, occasionally got the best of Still, a physical defensive tackle. Other times, it was the defender who would take control of the matchup.

Wisniewski graduated in 2011 and became a second-round pick of the Raiders. Still, who redshirted during their first year in Happy Valley in '07, stayed on campus during the team's turbulent season a year ago. Now, the defensive lineman is a top prospect in the NFL draft, and his former teammate offered a scouting report of Still to PFW.

"Devon is a big, quiet guy, but he works his butt off," Wisniewski said. "He's an intimidating presence because he's so big."

Still, who measured in at the NFL Scouting Combine at 6-4 7/8 and 303 pounds, is known for his combination of athleticism and strength. He's strong against the run and pass, with the ability to blow up plays in the backfield.

"He has great take-off, he's good at using his hands, and is great at fighting off blockers," said Wisniewski, who started all 16 games for the Raiders during his rookie season and was good enough to be named to the PFW All-Rookie team. He faced  and handled fairly well  several elite lineman in 2011, and said that one in particular reminded him of Still.

"He plays a lot like Tommy Kelly," Wisniewski said, referring to his Oakland teammate who had 7½ sacks in 2011. "They have the same type of frame and similar ability as well."

Wisniewski also broke down some other players he played with or against in his college career who will be picked in the 2012 NFL draft.

  • On Penn State DE Jack Crawford — "He has tremendous ability. He didn't really play much until junior year and still hasn't gotten to his full potential. He's big (6-4 7/8, 274 pounds) and tremendously athletic."
  • On Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy — "Real big, strong kid. Tremendous hands. Good take-off on the ball."
  • On Michigan NT Mike Martin — "He was injured when we played them, but I remember from the tape he was real active and seemed tough to block."
  • On Alabama LBs Dont'a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw — "Oh yeah, I remember them. They were really fast, really athletic; just great speed. And they can come up and hit hard. They seemed like NFL players when we faced them."


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