Selection worth the wait for Feeney

Like many potential prospects, University of Washington linebacker Travis Feeney threw just about everything he had into preparing for the NFL Draft.

That's what made his journey from the college ranks so stressful and his ultimate professional destination so satisfying.

"It's a crazy process," Feeney acknowledged.

Feeney wound up being chosen by the Steelers on the sixth round, 220th overall.

To classify his selection as a long time in coming wouldn't be doing the process justice.

"The season ends, and from the bowl game (the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Dec. 26) I went down to my training facility in San Diego," Feeney explained. "From there, I was training all the way until the (NFL Scouting) Combine (in February). You don't get to see your family, it's just strictly training.

"From there, since I'm on the West Coast, we left a day early for the combine. You finish the combine, I went back to the training facility for a day or two and then after that I went back to Washington. I was there for about two weeks training. From there, I got sports hernia surgery."

Finally, it was time for the draft in late April.

But Feeney's wait hadn't quite come to an end quite yet.

"Draft Day is just nuts," he continued. "You're thinking, 'There's Day One, Two, Three. My hope was Day Two, and then Day Two passes and you're like, 'OK, Day Three.' The fourth round goes, the fifth round goes, at that point I was like, 'Oh, man, forget this, I'm done with the draft'. The sixth round comes and the Steelers picked me up.'

It was all finally worth the wait.

"It was the most exciting moment of my life," Feeney said.

For Feeney and the rest of the Steelers' rookie class, the excitement is just beginning.

They've been indoctrinated at rookie camp and they're getting ready for OTAs.

And they'll find out soon enough if and where they fit in with the Steelers.

View photos of Steelers 2016 6th round draft pick, OLB Travis Feeney.

"I'm glad they really wanted me," Feeney said. "I'm just hoping I can do what they see in me, hopefully produce. If it's at first produce on special teams, then I'll do that. And then later on if I get on the defense and make plays, that's fine.

"The coaches are really great teachers. They really take time to really make sure you know what you're doing.

They understand that we're young and we're going to make mistakes. They're going to really teach us and really instill the game into us slowly. They're making sure that we learn from our mistakes."

As he learns, Feeney is prepared to do "anything that they want me to do, anything that can help me get on the field, special teams, linebacker, whatever it is," he said. "If they wanted me at long snapper or something, I'll do it. Whatever they need me to do to get on the field and whatever they think is best for me to get on the field, then I'll do it."

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