Analyzing Safety Troy Apke’s Draft Status
Troy Apke earned the starting safety position opposite Marcus Allen for his senior season last year. In his first season as a starter, Apke racked up 54 tackles and an interception. He finished his career at Penn State with 109 total tackles and two interceptions in mostly three years of play.
Although often overshadowed by other stars on the defense last season, Apke’s play garnered enough attention for him to be invited to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, where he was named the MVP of the game. Apke was also chosen to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine with 334 other players entering the draft.
An invitation to the Combine is certainly a good sign. Apke’s performance in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl put him on the radar for some NFL scouts, especially as a strong safety in a class that lacks a whole lot of depth at the position.
Apke has come a long way in his career in Happy Valley. The Pittsburgh native came to Penn State as a wide receiver before switching over to defense in his true freshman season. He had Malik Golden’s shoes to fill after Golden went off to the NFL following Penn State’s 2016 season, and did so about as well as you could’ve asked. The senior started twelve of the team’s thirteen games and came up with three tackles for loss.
Even with winning his Collegiate Bowl MVP and Combine invitation, Apke will need strong showings at the Combine and Penn State’s pro day to impress scouts enough to hear his name called in the draft in April. A speedy 40-meter dash time and a display of his physicality would pair well with his ability to make a game-changing play. He has a chance of being drafted in the seventh round, but most likely will be invited to a team’s training camp as an undrafted free agent.