Former Huskies Cory Littleton and Travis Feeney are trying to enjoy their NFL combine experience, each regarded as likely late-round picks in April's NFL draft.

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INDIANAPOLIS — A year ago at the NFL combine, you could hardly take a step without running into a Washington Huskies defensive player projected to be a high draft pick.

Ultimately, four UW defenders were among the first 44 picks, including three in the first round.

This year, Washington’s presence is more muted. The Huskies are represented by just two defensive players —linebackers Travis Feeney and Cory Littleton.  Both are considered late-round picks at best.

Littleton, in fact, said he was “on the bubble’’ just to get an invite, saying he had to wait a few days past the date when the notices first went out to get his.

“It was a great relief (to get invited),’’ Littleton said during his session with the media Friday.

The difference in the UW combine presence a year ago and now, though, led to an obvious question thrown at Littleton on Friday — why was UW defense statistically better in 2015 than in 2014?

Despite losing cornerback Marcus Peters, linebacker Shaq Thompson, tackle Danny Shelton and end Hau’oli Kikaha, the 2015 Huskies allowed almost 60 fewer yards and six fewer points a game.

“I just feel as though our backups (from 2014) we all came together and we had a great team effort and we just played great defense,’’ Littleton said.

The emergence of a number of young players who figure to give UW a regular presence at the combine the next few years also played a role.

Littleton and Feeney also hope to show at the combine that maybe their projections as late-round picks is pessimistic.

Scouts, though, have significant questions about each.

Littleton and Feeney played several different spots throughout their UW careers, and scouts wonder where each projects at the next level.

The 6-foot-3, 238-pound Littleton, a native of Spring Valley, Calif., said NFL teams see him as a strong-side linebacker, the position he played as a senior after having been a defensive end earlier in his career.

“In high school I was a true D-end and I came in as a linebacker and got moved back down to D-end and got moved back to linebacker,’’ he said. “It’s just been a great transition to learn different aspects of the defense and understand it completely.’’

The 6-4, 230-pound Feeney is also regarded as a tweener. He began his UW career as a safety before moving to linebacker, then spent last season as UW’s BUCK defensive end. Most see him as a linebacker in the NFL.

Feeney, though, says he’ll do whatever a team asks.

“It’s kind of a case of wherever they want me to play,’’ he said. “I’m open to everything. I want to be an outside backer, I want to be covering, I want to be playing hook drops, I want to be covering tight ends. But whatever they want me to do, I don’t mind getting after the quarterback, either. I wouldn’t mind pass rushing some plays and getting after it. A mix of that would be great for me.’’

His versatility, he thinks, should be a plus in the eyes of the NFL.

A minus, though, are the four shoulder surgeries he had at UW. He tore the labrum in each shoulder at least once.

Feeney is matter of fact about his health history.

“They’ve definitely talked about it,’’ he said of NFL scouts he met. “You’ve got to talk about it. It comes up when a guy has multiple surgeries. I’m feeling good right now, I’m feeling healthy, I’m feeling ready to go. I’m participating in everything. It’s the game of football, it comes with the territory. I’m just ready to show what I’ve got on Sunday. I’m ready to go.”

If nothing else, the process has made Littleton and Feeney closer, as they have worked out together in San Diego with a group that included Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner, considered potentially one of the top picks in the draft.

Each also has leaned on the experience of their four teammates from 2014, who told them to realize it’s a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence and enjoy it as much as possible. Shelton last year stole headlines by showing up at his news conference in a lava-lava, highlighting his Samoan heritage.

“I ain’t going to have that much fun,’’ Feeney said with a laugh. “I’m not going to be grabbing cameras and all that. But I’m going to have a good time.”