After going two rounds without a selection, the Pittsburgh Steelers used the compensatory pick awarded to them at the end of the sixth round to add depth to their linebacker corps.
University of Washington linebacker Travis Feeney is most defined by his exceptional speed, running a 4.5 40 yard dash at this year’s combine. The 6’4″, 230 lbs former safety made the transition to linebacker successfully, and posted 248 total tackles, 33.5 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks along with four interceptions, eleven passes defended, four forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery in his collegiate career.
Feeney has the skill set and experience to play at either linebacker position, but could find himself lining up on the inside with the amount of depth the Steelers lost at the position during free agency this year. His ability to drop back into coverage during passing situations and make plays on the ball give the Steelers an interesting Linebacker/Safety hybrid player that are becoming popular in the league with the likes of Deon Bucannon and 2016 rookie Su’a Cravens.
Losing Sean Spence and Terrance Garvin also hurt the Steelers in their Special Teams unit, which makes Feeney’s addition even more sensible. His speed gives him great ability as a gunner, and is most likely where he will make his bones on the team if he lands a spot on the 53 man roster.
Feeney represents a great late-round pick up for the Steelers in a defensive areas they need to bolster the most, and a great wild card player the can mold into a tremendous pass rushing threat with defensive back tendencies. Look for Feeney to bring a modern feel to a Steelers’ defense that has seemed simple at times and without much creativity.