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Fans of the Giants, both old and young, know the front office must begin looking for a long-term replacement for center Shaun O’Hara. In 2010 O’Hara’s achilles injury (which bothered him since training camp) limited him to play in just six games, forcing the Giants to try and fill a huge gap in their offensive line. Rich Seubert slid over from his usual guard spot and did an excellent job, but his career is also now in doubt. Backup Adam Koets filled in adequately before suffering a season-ending knee injury – but Koets is not a long-term answer as a starter.

I’m not saying O’Hara’s career is over today. He may return from offseason surgery and hold the starting center spot for another couple of seasons; or he may never be the same. No matter which case ends up being true, the reality is it’s time for the Giants to groom a center.

A player like Wisniewski, who is flexible along the offensive line, could be the answer for the Giants in the event that the recoveries of either O’Hara or Seubert do not go well.

Let’s take a look at the scouting reports.

Stefen Wisniewski
C, Penn State
6-foot-3, 299 pounds
Projection: Round 2 or 3

From Draft Countdown:

Strengths:
– Extremely smart with elite instincts and awareness
– Polished technician with great hand use and footwork
– A top-notch understanding of positioning and angles
– Intense, competitive and plays with a nasty demeanor
– Quick with nice balance and able to adjust and recover
– Strong with a wide base and stout at the point of attack
– Great toughness and gets a nice push in the run game
– Tenacious and will lock on and doggedly sustains blocks
– Ability to pull, play in space and reach the second level
– Versatile and is capable of playing multiple positions
– A hard worker and leader with outstanding bloodlines
– Durable with a ton of experience versus top competition

Weaknesses:
– Just average size and frame is probably maxed out
– Is limited athletically and a bit of an overachiever
– Feet aren’t real nimble and does not slide smoothly
– Not necessarily physically dominant or overpowering
– Will get pushed around at times but never gives up
– Sometimes walks line between being too aggressive

Overall:
Could project to either center or offensive guard and has extensive experience at both — Certainly isn’t very flashy or the most impressive physical specimen but compensates with first-rate intangibles and there is virtually no chance he won’t be successful at the next level — Will win a starting job and enjoy a long NFL career.

“…never gives up”; “overachiever”; “too aggressive”

Even his weaknesses look like strengths.

From the Scouting Department of the National Football Post:

A natural bender who showcases good flexibility and can really fire off the ball and get into opposing linemen quickly. Has a strong lower half and does a nice job quickly scoop blocking around defensive linemen, driving his legs through contact and washing defenders away from the play. Plays with natural leverage and consistently gets under his man and locks him out at the point of attack. Possesses the body control to chip and get out to the second level, where he exhibits a jarring punch on contact. Displays good technique and bend in all areas of his game and can really sit into his base and anchor inside. Continues to rework his hands and fight for inside leverage and is really tough to disengage from in the run game. Now, gets a bit ahead of himself on slide down blocks at times and will lose his balance trying to stay on defenders down the line. However, he’s a better in-line run blocker than given credit for, quickly firing off the football, pumping his legs through contact and creating a bit of surge inside while maintaining his balance through the play.

Snaps and steps quickly and showcases natural lateral ability, smoothly changing directions and keeping his base down when asked to mirror in space. Is surprisingly heavy handed, consistently is able to get under the pad level of defenders and does a nice job moving his feet and sliding with opponents through contact. Occasionally gets caught overextending into blocks from his upper body and can be slipped at times, but for the most part is very patient and technically sound into contact.

Impression: You can tell he comes from a family of former NFL linemen. He’s technically sound, moves well through contact, sticks to blocks and looks like a guy capable of starting from day one at the next level.

Also take a look at NFP’s big board of centers.

Wisniewski can play all three interior line positions, but he looks like a center more so than a guard at the next level. Wisniewski’s father, Leo, played three seasons for the Colts and his uncle, Steve, was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection in Oakland. Wisniewski is seen as a early/middle second round pick on nearly all draft boards right now. Picking him in the first round would be a stretch, but he may not be available when the Giants are back on the clock in the second round at pick 52 (19th pick in the second round). Big Blue might need to trade up to the beginning of the second round to grab Wisniewski.