(Editor’s note: University of Montana athletics release)
Former Montana football standout Ryan McKinley will get a shot at making his NFL dreams come true with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent the cornerback confirmed Saturday.
The Titans contacted McKinley “as soon as the draft was over,” said the Anthem, Arizona, native, who had also been in talks with the Cardinals in his home state.
“…this only the beginning… thankful for the opportunity Titans origination,” he said in an announcement on Instagram.
McKinley earned third-team All-Big Sky honors as a senior in 2017 after leading the conference in pass deflections with 15; the 12th-most passes defended in the nation. He also posted two interceptions, one of which he ran back 53 yards for a touchdown against Savannah State. He also totaled 48 tackles on the season.
At Montana’s Pro Day on March 12, McKinley was one of the overall performers, turning heads with a 39.5-inch vertical jump that would have been a top-15 result had he been in attendance at the NFL Combine. He also posted a standing broad jump of 10 feet, 10 inches that would have also been a top result at the combine.
In the speed tests at Pro Day, McKinley clocked a 4.68 40-yard dash, and 11.7-second shuttle and 4.47 second agility time. He also put up 13 reps on the 225lb bench press while checking in at 5-foot-11, 183 pounds.
Montana has a deep history of sending former players into the professional ranks. McKinley is now the 147th Grizzly go on to the next level, with 52 former players drafted.
The Griz have had at least one former player move on to the NFL every season dating back to 1993, marking 25-straight years in 2018.
Receiver Ben Roberts was the last Grizzly to be picked up by the Titans in 2016 as a free agent, and current Jacksonville Jaguar William Poehls also started his career as a free agent at Tennessee in 2014.