NFL 2011 Draft: Oakland Raiders’ Future May Be Tied To Their Past

Al Davis, Oakland's Hall of Fame owner, headed into the 1989 NFL Draft with no selections until the sixth round. Yet it did not stop the maverick owner from bettering his Raiders.

The Dallas Cowboys had just used the very first pick in the second round on an offensive guard named Steven Wisniewski. He had been a two-time All-American who led his team to a national championship.

Wisniewski was the second guard drafted, as well as the sixth overall offensive lineman chosen. All five men drafted before him never made a Pro Bowl. Only two men in the entire 1989 draft would go on to appear in more Pro Bowls than him.

Davis got Dallas to give him up in a trade, and Oakland would spend the next decade reaping the benefits of the Cowboys blunder. Wisniewski would stay with the Raiders until 2001, missing just two games the entire time.

He also went to eight Pro Bowls and was twice named First Team All-Pro in a career that should one day culminate in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was known as a smart player with incredible drive and an even bigger mean streak. Opponents did not look forward to facing him.

A member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team, Wisniewski has come back to the team again recently. He was named the Raiders assistant offensive line coach, and is intent on bettering his team once again.

On the teams website, he exclaimed,"I'm back to my first love, the Oakland Raiders and working with the Offensive Line. I’m a Raider for life. I can help in technique, help in mindset and attitude and really push these young men to develop and to be the heartbeat of the team."

Offensive line is an area of concern of the Raiders heading into the 2011 draft, and they may not have to look beyond their own locker room for a solution, let alone a legacy of one of their truer legends.

Stefan Wisniewski is the nephew of their newly hired coach. He he...

About the Author