The Oakland Raiders did not have a first round draft pick in 2011, but that did not stop them from finding an impact player with their first pick in the second round. The Raiders drafted Penn State offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski. Nephew of Raiders great Steve Wisniewski, Stefen was expected to be an immediate upgrade to the Raiders offensive line and he did not disappoint. Playing alongside tackle Jared Veldheer, Young Wiz helped hold down a dominant left side of the offensive line.
Needless to say, it was very impressive to see a second round offensive lineman come into the NFL and succeed in the way that Wisniewski did in his rookie season. It was apparent almost immediately that Wisniewski would be a major factor in the Raiders offensive line for years to come. What is most impressive though, is something that was unknown about Wisniewski's rookie season until just recently, find out what it was after the jump.
As Stefen Wisniewski spent his rookies season opening massive holes for running backs and helping protect the quarterback's blind side, he did so with a torn labrum that he had incurred in training camp. That's right, Young Wiz spent his entire rookie season, a rather dominant one by the way, with a torn labrum in his shoulder. Playing with any kind of injury is impressive, but playing with an injury to an area that is so important to your position is stunning. As an offensive lineman, Wisniewski was constantly using his arms and hands to keep defenders at bay, something that requires using one's shoulders on every single play.
People were pretty excited at the prospect of what Wisniewski would do in the Silver and Black in the years to come. Now that we know Wisniewski was playing at such a huge disadvantage and still succeeding, that excitement is much greater. It is going to be fun to see what Young Wiz can do when he is fully healthy.