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Penn State's Wisniewski, Pitt's Sheard picked in second round

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Pitt defensive Jabaal Sheard was the fifth man off the board on Day 2 of the 2011 NFL draft and second Pitt player selected when the Browns drafted him 37th overall. Eleven picks later, Penn State contributed its first player in the draft's second round when Nittany Lions center Stefen Wisniewski was selected by Oakland.

Two local players were drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft when the Cleveland Browns selected Pitt defensive end Jabaal Sheard with the 37th overall selection of the second round; later, the Oakland Raiders selected Penn State guard/center Stefen Wisniewski, a Bridgeville native.

Wisniewski is joining the team where his uncle, Steve Wisniewski, earned eight Pro Bowl selections during a standout career from 1989-2001. The elder Wisniewski is in his first season as the Raiders’ assistant offensive line coach.

Sheard, 6-3 and 264 pounds, runs a 4.68 forty-yard dash and was named Big East Conference defensive player of the year after turning in nine sacks and 14.5 tackles for losses. He also had four forced fumbles.

"I'm aggressive. I know how to get to the quarterback. And I'm a hard worker," Sheard said on a conference call.

Sheard is coming off an excellent senior season that followed a later summer arrest for allegedly throwing a man through a glass door of an art gallery. Sheard pleaded down to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, but says that the incident was misreported, as he was said to be defending a much smaller teammate against an attack from a bigger man.

"That's the first trouble I'd been in. That's not the guy I am," Sheard said. “On the field, maybe I get a little hot, but off the field I'm a cool, laid back dude."

Browns general manager Tom Heckert Sheard was the top-rated defensive end on the Browns' draft board as the second day of the draft began.

"He was a player we had targeted a long time. We were a little nervous he'd be gone," Heckert said.

Wisniewski, a first team All-American, is among the most distinguished Penn State Football student-athletes in the program’s 124-year history. He is the first Nittany Lion Football student-athlete to be selected a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American®, earning first team honors from 2009 and 2010. He finished second in balloting for the 2010 Academic All-American® of the Year in college football. Wisniewski finished with a 3.90 cumulative grade point average, earning his degree in secondary education this past December.

Wisniewski gained six All-America recognitions following the 2010 season, earning first-team honors from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and Scout.com He also was selected an Associated Press second-team All-American, joining previous second-team accolades from the Walter Camp Football Foundation, CBSsports.com and Rivals.com.

A starter in 38 of the last 39 games of his stellar career, Wisniewski earned first-team All-Big Ten accolades in 2009 and 2010. The former Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School standout became the first Nittany Lion to earn first team All-America and Academic All-America® accolades in the same season since another former Western Pennsylvania standout, linebacker Paul Posluszny (2005 and ’06).


LOCAL PLAYERS DRAFTED
Round 1: JONATHAN BALDWIN
, WR, Pitt (Aliquippa) -- Kansas City Chiefs, 26th overall
Round 2: JABAAL SHEARD, DE, Pitt -- Cleveland Browns, 37th overall
Round 2: STEFEN WISNIEWSKI, C/G, Penn State (Pittsburgh Central Catholic) -- Oakland Raiders, 48th overall

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