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There is plenty of credit to go around for a Pitt program that ended the 2016 season with an 8-5 record that included wins over eventual top 10 teams Clemson and Penn State. Too little of it, however, went to Bisnowaty, a four-year starter who earned First Team All-ACC honors at left tackle for the Panthers for the second consecutive season.
A local Pittsburgh product, Bisnowaty signed with the Panthers amid great fanfare but he did not see the field until his second year, redshirting in 2012. He played in nine games, starting eight, a year later before a back injury robbed him of the final four games. Bisnowaty missed a game in 2014 and 2015, as well, due to ankle injuries but otherwise leaves Pitt as one of the more battle-tested linemen in the 2017 draft, starting 44 games at the all-important left tackle position over the past four seasons.
While his college days were spent on the left side, Bisnowaty's physical style of play make him better served on the right side at the next level. He may not possess the elite tools to warrant first round consideration but Bisnowaty could make a team look awfully smart on Day Two.
STRENGTHS: With his broad shoulders, long arms and higher-cut frame, Bisnowaty possesses the athletic almost-TE-like build scouts are looking for in today's modern offensive tackle. Bisnowaty possesses impressive initial quickness off the snap for a man of his size and has sticky hands, typically controlling opponents once he latches on. While his build may suggest a finesse style of play, Bisnowaty's aggression and physicality certainly counters that perception. He plays with a guard's mentality, firing off the snap and supplying a powerful initial punch to jolt opponents. Bisnowaty shows good initial quickness and lateral agility with short, choppy steps to "chuck" his way in reverse and he can control edge rushers with his long arms and powerful grip. He shows the ability to anchor, showing good core flexibility and at least adequate balance to remain outside at tackle in the NFL. His upper body power and also shows up in the running game, where Bisnowaty shows some nastiness in his play, often driving opponents off the ball and playing through the whistle.
WEAKNESSES: While quicker than he looks, Bisnowaty projects best to right tackle or perhaps even guard in the NFL because he lacks elite balance and agility for pass protection against speed rushers. He can be a tick slow off the snap and allows his pads to rise as he retreats in pass protection, leaving him vulnerable to bull rushers. Though mostly durable, Bisnowaty missed at least one game due to injury in three of his four seasons, making his medical evaluation important.
IN OUR VIEW: Bisnowaty has the physical talent and mean streak to project as a starting right tackle in the NFL, though his adaptation to the new position could require some patience.
COMPARES TO: Breno Giacomini, New York Jets: Possessing a similar size and playing style, Bisnowaty appears likely to join Giacomini as a future starting right tackle for a club built around a downhill running game.