On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Steelers spent their sixth round pick of the 2016 NFL Draft on Washington Huskies linebacker Travis Feeney. Feeney improved his draft stock at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, earning a compliment from NFL Scout Matt Miller, “…a bit of a freak. Ran 4.50 and jumped 40″ on vert and 10’10” on broad.” Feeney, selected 220th overall, was an All-Pac 12 second team selection in 2015 and finished the season ranked third in the conference in both sacks (8.0) and tackles for loss (17.5). Feeney is the fourth player the Steelers selected in the draft this year to play on the defensive side of the ball.
In 2015, Feeney was voted team captain and had a stellar year with the Huskies. Tied for second in the Pac-12 with three forced fumbles, Feeney also ranked 24th in the nation in tackles for loss (TFLs). Against USC, Feeney had seven tackles (3.5 for losses), 2.5 sacks and was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for the performance. He also earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors after UW handed Arizona a 49-3 loss in a game in which Feeney recorded 11 tackles (4.5 for a loss), two sacks, a pass break-up and two forced fumbles. At Washington’s postseason awards ceremony, Feeney was name Most Outstanding Defensive Player.
Feeney, measuring six-feet, four-inches and 230 pounds, showcased his athleticism at the Combine when he posted the second-fastest 40-yard dash time of any linebacker in the class (4.50 seconds). Reportedly, he excelled despite suffering from a hernia and was not 100 percent in Indianapolis.
Feeney redshirted as a freshman (2011) and improved steadily each season, making a significant impact for Washington. He earned the team’s Defensive Scout Team MVP award and was then named to the All-Pac 12’s honorable mention group in 2012 after making the transition from safety to linebacker. Feeney was awared the Huskies’ Special Teams Player of the Year award in 2014 before taking over the “Buck” linebacker position following Hau’oli Kikaha’s departure. Feeney also earned academic awards.
The Steelers will utilize his ability to play in space and his success on special teams should allow him to have an immediate impact in Pittsburgh.