The first place to look up info for a player you are unfamiliar with is Wikipedia? But what happens if that player does not have a Wiki page? Dig deep into the internet and see what you can find in every nook and cranny. That is exactly what had to be done to find out about Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Conor Sheehy.
At 6-foot-4 and 295-pounds, Sheehy would stand out among most of the other Steelers defensive ends. With the starting defensive ends locked up by starters Stephon Tuitt and Cam Heyward, and primary backup filled by Tyson Alualu, Sheehy will need his play to stand out more than his size this summer. Probably Sheehy is battling with four other players for one roster spot on the 53-man roster. Battling for playing time is something that is not new to Sheehy.
During his Freshman season at Wisconsin, Sheehy played in all 14 games but only recorded two tackles. One for loss in limited play.
2015 was the breakout season Sheehy had been waiting for. Six starts at nose tackle and two at defensive end accounted for 31 total tackles, three for loss and two sacks. With the mix of starts at two different positions, Sheehy showed his versatility along the defensive front in a talented Badger lineup. His performance was not only limited to the gridiron as Sheehy scooped up an Academic All-Big Ten honor.
During his junior campaign, Sheehy started 11 of Wisconsin’s 13 games — all at defensive end. He logged 27 tackles, four for loss, 2.5 sacks, and one forced fumble en route to third-team All-Big Ten honors (Coaches). The highlight game of the season came against Northwestern when Sheehy amassed five Northwestern five total tackles, four of them solo, one sack and a forced fumble.
2017 was the pinnacle of his college career as Sheehy started all 14 games at defensive end.
The defense was second in the nation in total defense surrendering 262.1 yards per game. The defense was third in the nation in scoring giving up a meager 13.9 points per game while also finishing third in rush defense (98.4 yards per game) and being the top team in the nation in passing efficiency (96.4 yards per game). Sheehy was rewarded with second-team All-Big Ten (coaches) and third-team All-Big Ten (media) honors.
The lack of production and a mediocre pro day sealed his fate at not being selected in the 2018 NFL Draft. The 5.26 second 40 time was sluggish but the stat that jumps out was putting up just 21 reps of 225 on the bench press. A low total for a player of his size.
After going undrafted Sheehy remained in Wisconsin and signed with the Green Bay Packers. When the Packers cut down from 90 players to 53 early in September, Sheehy was not among the ones who made the final roster nor was he signed to the Packers practice squad or any other practice squad in 2018.
The Steelers gave Sheehy another shot at an NFL career when the team signed him to a reserve/futures contract in January. Sheehy will look to impress coaches this summer but reps will be limited because of his position on the depth chart. Undersized and lack of strength should keep him locked in at only competing for defensive end reps and not any nose tackle reps. Steelers 2019 sixth-round pick Isaiah Buggs, Winston Craig, Henry Mondeaux, and Casey Sayles will his competitors for the lone roster that should be available.
The odds are long for big No. 61 to make the final foster but Pittsburgh could add him to the team’s practice squad.