The NFL scouting combine has come and gone and, while the FCS only saw nine of its players get invited to Indianapolis for the main event this year, the hope for several more of its players to get noticed by professional scouts is far from over. Across the country colleges are hosting their annual pro days; showcases that serve as one final opportunity for potential NFL prospects to show scouts what they’ve got. Every now and then the Pro Day will reveal a hidden talent that was not there in Indy. That may have very well been the case for Montana State’s Ty Okada earlier this week.
The 5”11, 200 lbs Okada came into MSU as a walk-on back in 2017 but quickly became one of the mainstays on the team’s defense. He finished his career with 179 total tackles (15 for loss), three interceptions and 18 defended passes. He also helped Montana State reach the FCS semifinals three years in a row from 2019 to 2022 (MSU did not play in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic). Okada, though, put one final stamp on his collegiate career during the school’s pro day on Wednesday.
From blazing times in the speed events to unreal athleticism across the board, Okada did it all and when it was all said and done, NFL teams may be taking a second look at the Bobcats safety.
Pro Day participants typically run through the same drills and reps that the Combine puts on and when Okada’s turn came up he did better in several of those drills than many of his FCS (and FBS) counterparts did last month in Indianapolis. The most notable one being his 40.5” vertical jump; a mark that would have tied him for third amongst all safeties who attended the Combine and landed him ninth overall at the event.
On top of his impressive vertical, Okada landed a 10’9” broad jump as well, besting almost all Combine participants in that category too.
He also shined in the speed drills, clocking a 4.44 40-yard dash putting him only behind Pitt’s Brandon Hill in that category for safeties who attended the Combine. He finished the 20-yard shuttle in 3.98 seconds and completed the three-cone drill in 6.85 seconds, again finishing ahead of several Combine goers.
So, did Okada do enough to earn his way into a draft spot later this month? It’s tough to say but one thing is for certain; more NFL teams know of him now than before this week. And, even if he doesn’t get selected, he will almost assuredly get a pro opportunity as an undrafted free agent now.
However it pans out for the safety, though, one thing is again made quite clear. Not all of the future NFL players that hear their name called make it to the pros in the “usual” way. Okada looks to be a shining example of the long road paying off and he took a big step toward realizing that dream this week.
If he is picked, Okada would be the third Montana State defensive player since last year to be taken in the draft.