A Wisniewski being drafted by Baltimore wouldn't be new

Penn State offensive lineman could play center or guard; Zorn earns praise from new team

February 25, 2011|By Jamison Hensley, The Baltimore Sun

INDIANAPOLIS — If the Ravens pick Penn State offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski in April, it will come 29 years after his father was drafted by Baltimore.

Of course, in 1982, it was the Baltimore Colts who chose nose tackle Leo Wisniewski in the second round. Wisniewski played in Baltimore two years before relocating with the team to Indianapolis in 1984. That was his final season in a career shortened by knee injuries.

"He doesn't talk about playing in the NFL much," Stefen Wisniewski said Friday. "But he talked to me a lot about what it took to be pro football player. As far as the strength and conditioning aspect and all the techniques that go into football, he was tremendous in building me into the football player that I am."

Wisniewski is rated the second-best center in the draft, but he switched from center to guard last season at Penn State. So, what is his best position?

"I think I excelled at guard this year and at center the year before," he said. "Some teams would look at me and think I'd be a better center. Some would think I'd be a better guard. I'll just be excited to go out there."

The Ravens might be interested in him at center because current starter Matt Birk is in the final year of his contract.

Zorn earns praise

In addressing the national media at the combine, Kansas City coach Todd Haley heaped tons of compliments on new quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn. The Chiefs hired Zorn 19 days after he was fired by the Ravens.

"I've always admired Jim from afar," Haley said. "I thought it was very important to have a quarterback coach who has a unique perspective. He is one of the top quarterback coaches in the league in my opinion from the standpoint of getting guys better both mentally and physically."

Devlin hopes to follow Flacco

Pat Devlin is looking to become the second Delaware quarterback to get drafted in the NFL in four years, following the footsteps of the Ravens' Joe Flacco.

"You hear all about him," said Devlin, who is expected to go in the fifth or sixth round. "He's done such a great job for the Ravens. I really haven't talked to him too much. He's an unbelievable player."

Devlin completed 68 percent of his passes last season for Delaware, throwing 22 touchdowns and three interceptions.

Asked if Flacco's success made it easier to gain the attention of NFL scouts, Devlin said, "I think they're great at evaluating talent. I think if the talent is there, they'll find it. That's basically what it comes down to."

Portis felt slighted

Josh Portis said he never got a chance to establish himself as a starting quarterback at Maryland.

Portis, who is at the NFL scouting combine after playing at Division II California University of Pennsylvania last season, only had a limited role in his one season for the Terps. In 2008, he substituted for Chris Turner for one option play at a time and finished with one completion on three attempts. His playing time decreased throughout the season to the point where he had eight plays in the last half of the season.

"Honestly I didn't get a fair shot at all," Portis said Friday. "I didn't get into the politics of it all. I didn't see why I wasn't playing and I never complained. Something wasn't right. I wanted to contribute to the team, but the coaches wanted to go in a different direction."

Portis transferred from Florida to Maryland in 2006 and was suspended for the entire 2007 season because he cheated on a pop quiz.

"It was real minor," he said. "I moved on and got my degree."

End zone

The Ravens spoke to five wide receivers at the combine: Pittsburgh's Jonathan Baldwin (second or third rounds), Nebraska's Niles Paul (third or fourth), Miami's Leonard Hankerson (third or fourth), Hawaii's Greg Salas (third or fourth) and Fort Valley State's Ricardo Lockette (sixth or seventh). … Florida center-guard Mike Pouncey, the twin brother of the Pittsburgh center, said he met with Ravens coach John Harbaugh and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. The first-round prospect will talk to 25 of the 32 NFL teams at the combine. … The Ravens and the Steelers are staying at the same hotel at the combine. The AFC North rivals must adhere to the saying, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer."



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