Five things to know about new offensive lineman Jon Feliciano:
1. Originally a fourth-round selection by the Raiders in the 2015 NFL Draft, Feliciano has played in 82 regular-season games with 39 starts. He has also started four postseason games, all with Buffalo after joining the team in 2019.
2. He reunites with head coach Brian Daboll (formerly Buffalo's offensive coordinator), general manager Joe Schoen (formerly Buffalo's assistant general manager), and offensive line coach Bobby Johnson, who held the same role with the Bills.
3. Feliciano, 6-4 and 325 pounds, has started 26 regular-season games at right guard, 11 at left guard, and two at center. His four postseason starts were at right guard. Feliciano told the media on Wednesday that he learned center from playing with three-time Pro Bowler Rodney Hudson with the Raiders and fell in love with the position. "I believe in myself," he said, "and I believe the center position is where I'll be the best."
4. Feliciano was a three-time All-ACC honorable mention selection at Miami, where he started 46 of 48 games for the Hurricanes.
5. Feliciano's nickname is "Mongo," which was given to him by his late friend Sean Cole. It is short for "humongous" due to him being so big for his age. Feliciano named his daughter Shawn Cole in his memory.
According to the Bills' media guide, Feliciano endured a long journey to the NFL, starting from growing up in a condemned mobile home that at times had no heat, running water, or electricity. He didn't start playing football until the ninth grade, when he was recognized for his size and natural ability. Feliciano said he draws his inspiration from his younger brother, Chris, who was born deaf.
View photos from the career of veteran offensive lineman Jon Feliciano.
Introductory presser with the media:
Q: I think a lot of us expected this to be the case when you were released by Buffalo, did you think this is where you'd end up? Can you talk about your relationships with some of the people that are here?
A: Yeah, I mean honestly when I saw that (Head Coach Brian Daboll) Dabs got the job and then I got released, it was definitely one of the teams that first came to mind, just having that familiarity with Daboll and (Offensive Line Coach) Bobby (Johnson). I'm just happy it all worked out.
Q: Can you talk about your relationship with Bobby Johnson and how close you guys are?
A: Yeah, so it started when I was a rotational guy and Bobby did the goal-line plays, so every week he would draw up the goal line plays and he started looking out for me and putting me in as a fullback, or tight end, basically just looking out for me and putting me in anywhere he could. Even went out in motion and ran a couple of routes. It's every fat man's dream (laughs). But our relationship started from there.
Q: I know you played mostly guard, certainly some center, and the Giants say you're coming here to play center. Can you talk about that transition? Is that a good place for you at this point in your career? Do you see this as maybe something that could be a long-term thing?
A: Going back to my Oakland days, I had a guy, (Arizona Cardinals Center) Rodney Hudson, who's a top-tier, one-two center, the last 10 years. I got to pick his brain and learn from him, and (Former Raiders Offensive Line Coach) Mike Tice, and (Former Raiders Assistant Offensive Line Coach) Tim Holt, I took those four years of being a rotational guy, a back-up guy, to learn a position that I didn't play in college. In college I played tackle, I played both tackles and then left guard. So, from those first four years, I got to learn center and I really fell in love with it. Just the responsibility that is on your hands to come in every week and everything is basically on you. You've got to know the defense. You've got to make all of the calls for the guys around you. I take a lot of pride in knowing that stuff.
Q: Do you think it's going to be a hard transition to be a starting center?
A: Not at all. I've been in a lot of people's ears for a lot of years trying to get into the center position. I honestly think it's my best position, and I'm just really excited to finally get to show what I've got.
Q: When you became a free agent, was that your goal to be a center? Was that something you looked at like, "Okay I really want to do this," or were you open to saying, "Okay, what's the best opportunity?"
A: It was definitely – I wanted to play center. There were other teams that were talking, and I believe in myself, and I believe that the center position is where I'll be best. Thankfully, Bobby and Daboll agreed and we got it to work out.
Q: What do you know about this organization and their desire to sort of rebuild the offensive line? It's been a work in progress for a long time here. What do you know about that, and what have you been told about what the offensive line is going to look like here moving forward?
A: Not much, but it's kind of probably the same situation as when I went to Buffalo the first time. They were struggling up front, the offensive line was, and our 2019 free agent o-line group, we understood going in that this team had potential if we had the quarterback upright. I believe the same thing watching (Quarterback Daniel Jones) Danny Dimes play. I believe he's going to be a really good quarterback, especially if he has some time.
Q: Do you have any kind of relationship with (Guard) Mark (Glowinski)? You're going to be playing next to him, it sounds like. What do the two of you bring? It seems like there's a lot of physicality, a lot of intensity that you guys can bring to this line.
A: I first met Mark in 2015, at the East-West Shrine Game. I got to know him there. I believe we are definitely pretty similar mentality-wise, especially on the field. We've been in the league for seven years now, so watching film, whenever you know a guy, it always makes film a lot easier to watch, so you can watch them, especially if you guys are playing, at the time I was playing the same position as him. I know he's a hell of a player and I know he's a nasty little guy. So, we've both got that in common. We're both excited.