Dan Feeney is at or near the top of most 2017 NFL Draft offensive lineman projections. The Indiana guard
The 6-foot-4, 305-pound lineman is projected in the top three rounds of most mock drafts, some of which have him going in the top 30. The NFL Draft’s first round takes place on Thursday, with rounds two and three on Friday and four through seven on Saturday. Let’s get to know Indiana’s guard.
Who is Dan Feeney? 5 things to know:
1. He could potentially start as a rookie.
Feeney’s steady performance at Indiana has grabbed the eye of many an NFL draft evaluator, and most like what they see. He’s one of the highest-rated players at his position, ranking as the No. 2 guard on CBS Sports’ rankings and No. 1 on Sports Illustrated’s. That’s a good place to be.
2. Feeney could play guard or center in the NFL.
Versatility’s always nice, and Feeney’s ability to fill in just about anywhere on an offensive line can make the coach who drafts him rest a little easier. Feeney even played tackle in college and could be used there in the NFL if needed. He’d ideally stay inside, as Pro Football Focus notes he was a much better pass protector from the guard spot. He allowed only 2 sacks during his college career, and even if that doesn’t capture the totality of a single player’s pass-blocking efforts, it’s definitely a good sign.
3. Concussion issues could be a concern.
Feeney missed 4 games during his senior season with a concussion, something that’s sure to give NFL teams pause. The Browns even put him through card tricks during the combine, likely to test his cognitive skills. But save for that concussion and one other injury, he was durable. Feeney missed his second season at Indiana after suffering a lisfranc injury in preseason camp. He started every game his freshman season in 2012, and did the same after his injury in 2014 and 2015.
4. Feeney is disciplined.
He committed only 10 penalties in four seasons at Indiana. Combine that with his pass-blocking success, and he’s checking off important boxes. His coaches tout his intangibles and say all the right things about Feeney.
“He can play all the positions up front,” Indiana coach Tom Allen told the Indy Star. “And then the character piece and leadership, even during the combine he shared some qualities that are there. That didn’t surprise us because he’s a special young man.”
5. His game is more about finesse than it is about mauling defenders.
He certainly has the size to be an NFL guard, but Feeney’s college excellence wasn’t catalyzed by pancake blocks and outrageous hits. Rather, he dominated by staying on defenders and keeping them out of the backfield. PFF says, “While he doesn’t create big movement in the run game, he’s difficult to shed.” NFL.com notes concerns that his profile is elevated by his zone-blocking scheme, and that he could struggle in an NFL environment. Despite those concerns, it’s hard to find an evaluation that pegs him going later than the third round.