Taylor, Wisniewski Make Pro Football Weekly’s All-Rookie Team
Considering only three Penn Staters were drafted this year, I’d say having two players on Pro Football Weekly‘s All-Rookie team suggests that it was a successful year for the new generation of Nittany Lions in the NFL.
If this team actually existed on a field, the two players that were named to PFW’s team would actually be battling each other, as defensive tackle Phil Taylor and offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski were the lucky youngins.
Taylor’s play on the field was somewhat inconsistent throughout the season, but one thing did not change at all in 2011. He started every game at defensive tackle for the Browns, and that’s a streak that probably won’t end anytime soon. He amassed 4 sacks on the season and ended up 2nd in the NFL among rookie DTs with that number. Taylor was drafted 21st overall in April.
As for Wisniewski, he quickly became a fan favorite in Oakland. The second-coming of the Wisniewski’s on the Raiders was selected in the 2nd round this past April, and was instantly inserted into the starting lineup at left guard. He held that position for the entire season and was even nominated for Rookie of the Week in late September. The consensus among Raider nation is that Wiz will be the starter at center for the foreseeable future, possibly starting next season. If he can continue to play as he did in his rookie season, Wisniewski will be a sureshot for the Pro Bowl within the next year or two.
The other drafted Nittany Lion was Evan Royster, who picked up 100 yards rushing in both games that he was given the opportunity to start in, so if those numbers could be extrapolated to the entire season, he would undoubtedly have made the All-Rookie team.