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Steelers' third-day selections intriguing

Why you should be excited about the Steelers' third-day draft picks:

View photos of Steelers 2016 4th round draft pick, OT Jerald Hawkins

-Fourth Round:

-Jerald Hawkins, OT, 6-foot-6, 305 pounds, LSU: Hawkins was a three-year starter in the SEC and started all 37 career games (25 starts at right tackle and 12 at left tackle) … His versatility was attractive to the Steelers, as was his coming out of an LSU offense that much more resembled a pro-style offense than many of the spread offenses so often favored these days in the college game … Hawkins played every offensive snap in seven games and was on the field for 754 total snaps as a junior in 2015. Hawkins played 834 snaps in 2014 and 808 in 2013, when he started 13 games at right tackle as a redshirt freshman … Hawkins was part of an offensive line that helped LSU lead the SEC in rushing at 256.8 yards per game last season.  

-Sixth Round:

-Travis Feeney, LB, 6-4, 226, Washington: His performance at the combine included linebacker-best postings of 4.50 in the 40-yard dash, a 40-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot, 10-inch broad jump … Feeney initially went to Washington as a safety before converting to linebacker during fall camp in 2012 … He was a decorated player at Washington, earning the Defensive Scout MVP as a redshirt freshman in 2011 and the Most Outstanding Special Teams Player award in 2014, and serving as a team captain in 2015 … Feeney had four career interceptions, three of which he returned for 30-plus yards … He also left Washington with 33 career tackles for a loss and 15.5 sacks … The Steelers envision Feeney initially providing depth on special teams and as a pass-rusher.

-Seventh Round:

-DeMarcus Ayers, WR/PR, 5-11, 190, Houston: Ayers was named First-Team All-American Athletic Conference as a wide receiver and a return specialist in 2015. He also earned the conference's Co-Special Teams Player of the Year award and was a first-team all-conference kickoff returner in 2013 … Ayers caught 98 passes (sixth nationally) for 1,222 yards (18th in the nation) and averaged 10.4 yards per punt return (28 for 290, one for a touchdown) last season … Ayers had nine catches for 82 yards, carried six times for 17 yards and threw a 20-yard touchdown pass against Florida State in the Peach Bowl … The Steelers considered Ayers the No.1 punt return candidate available in the draft.

-Tyler Matakevich, LB, 6-1, 235: Finished his career at Temple with 493 tackles and in the process became only the seventh player in FBS history to record 100-plus tackles in four straight seasons … Matakevich was the only player in FBS to lead his team in tackles in every game in 2015 … Won the Chuck Bednarik Award (nation's top defensive player, Maxwell Club) and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (nation's top defensive player, Charlotte Touchdown Club) in 2015 and was named American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year … Matakevich became the first three-time captain in Temple history along with teammate Kyle Friend in 2015.

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