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2016 Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Reaction: Rounds Six and Seven

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The Steelers finished out their draft with three rapid-fire picks in a 26-pick span, and filled their last major hole in the process.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers wrapped up their draft doing some things the same as they did with the first four picks, yet very different at the same time.

If you looked at the first five picks, you would see a clear trend: athletic, raw players with long arms, good character and high ceilings relative to where they were drafted. Yes, I know, "long arms" looks a little weird bunched in together with those other traits, especially when those five picks covered five different positions. But it stands out nonetheless.

Across the board, it's a draft that can be described as "solid" and "not flashy". They weren't the most exciting picks, but they clearly addressed needs. In fact, there really isn't a hole on the team that wasn't addressed.

Travis Feeney, LB, Washington

Athleticism was a huge focus of the draft for the Steelers, and Feeney doesn't disappoint. He's a trim, well-cut 230 pounds on a 6'-4" frame. The only negative is that he's approaching his maximum viable weight that frame can handle. He's a natural safety who added weight to transition to linebacker, and that shows. It's going to be interesting to see how the team will end up using him.

He's got an extremely good first step, but despite that, he rarely gets faked out. He diagnoses well, moves down the line in traffic on runs, and has the speed to make plays when the ball bounces outside.

Feeney will likely be a special-teams ace early on, but could contribute down the road in sub packages as a safety/linebacker hybrid.

Demarcus Ayers, WR, Houston

One hole that didn't get talked about very often this off-season was in the return game. The Steelers addressed it with Ayers, who Kevin Colbert said they had ranked as the top returner available in the entire draft.

There's a lot to love about this kid. Despite being a late-round receiver on a team that has more than enough of them already, I can see Ayers being used on offense from time to time due to his versatility.  He began his college career as a running back, and also has some experience throwing the ball. He looks, in my opinion, like a poor man's Antwaan Randle-El.

The main area of concern with Ayers is his combine speed, which was the second-slowest of all receivers. But when you watch him on film, he plays much faster than he timed. He's also not as shifty as you would expect for a guy his size, but he does a great job making the first man miss despite that. And he could even add another 10 to 15 pounds without hurting his game.

One thing that really helps his case for getting on the field is that he's extremely good in traffic. Because of that, he was used regularly on bubble screens, a staple of the Steelers' offensive scheme. He also doesn't drop many balls -- from the slot in 2015, he caught 91 of the 93 balls thrown his way.

Ayers is an excellent addition purely for his utility as a returner, but has a greater chance than recent predecessors Chris Rainey and Dri Archer of actually seeing playing time due to his versatility.

Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple

Matakevich could best be described as the 2016 version of Anthony Chickillo. He's not the fastest, the strongest or the most skilled, but he works his tail off and uses technique and intelligence to make up for those shortcomings. He's great at diagnosing plays quickly and gets through gaps well by timing his attack carefully. He's not a great cover linebacker, but he does stay disciplined in his zone.

If he has a glaring weakness, it's that he sometimes gets going downhill too quickly and overruns the play, particularly when he gets into the backfield. Aside from that, his biggest shortcoming is that he's just not particularly good at any one thing. But he's not particularly bad at anything, either, which makes him a good, moldable player who may not have much of a ceiling, but he's already technically sound coming out of college -- just like Chickillo.