The Pittsburgh Steelers added another defensive player during the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft with the selection of outside linebacker Travis Feeney and during his post-selection press conference, Steelers linebacker coach Joey Porter called him a smaller guy who is really fast and that he’ll add depth on special teams and as a pass-rusher.
“He has good body control, really good body lean in the pass rush,” said Porter of Feeney, who recorded 8 sacks last season at Washington. “It’s not new to him. He has had success at rushing the passer. That’s always a good sign when you have someone who comes in and adds a little bit of that in their game. You can always add more. But what he has right now, I think is good enough. We will add to it.”
Feeney, who was invited to the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine this year, was reportedly unable to work out at his pro day due to him undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia.
“It’s a real quick surgery,” said Feeney, who earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors last season after totaling 17.5 tackles for loss and 56 total tackles. “There’s no pain.”
That, however, wasn’t Feeney’s first time going under the knife as he reportedly had four shoulder surgeries during his time at Washington. It’s worth noting that Feeney only played 57% of all defensive snaps last season but by all accounts he should be good to go for the team’s rookie minicamp and OTA practices.
As far as his shoulder goes, Feeney appears to have a chip on it when it comes to the teams that decided not to draft him.
“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you’re drafted; it just matters that you get on the team and show what you got,” Feeney said earlier this week. “I don’t talk that much … but whoever passes on me they’re going to regret it. Whoever gets me, they’re getting a gem.”
Porter was asked why Feeney ultimately wound up falling to the sixth round.
“The draft is crazy. You never know what’s going to happen,” said Porter. “There are a lot of guys sitting there right now thinking they should have went yesterday but haven’t. You never know what’s going to happen in the draft. You will have good guys get passed over and you’re going to have some guys that you don’t think are good go early. That’s part of it. The thing about the draft is you just need one person to like you. It doesn’t matter what team that comes from. You just need one person to fall in love with you at the right position. Some guys get that early. Some of those guys get looked over. We’re happy to have him. We’re happy that they did pass on him so we can have something special with him.”