All signs pointed toward one of the NFL’s 32 teams making outside linebacker Victor Ochi the first Stony Brook player to ever be selected in the NFL Draft. But after 253 names were called, Ochi’s was not, and the Seawolf signed as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens according to his high school head coach, Frank Chimienti.
“What happens is in the seventh round, teams start to call,” Chimienti, who was among around 15 family members and friends watching the draft with Ochi, said. “They’re trying to work out all their free agents. The Ravens had called a couple times and shown a lot of interest.”
So even though Ochi did not make school history as many expected, his phone was buzzing constantly — teams wanted him.
“Sometimes being a free agent is better than going in the later rounds,” Chimienti said. “You get to kind of pick, you know, what team you want to go to of the teams that offer.”
Ochi set the Stony Brook program record with 32.5 career sacks and 49 tackles for loss during his four years of competition. That performance, which includes 13 sacks from this past season, helped the Valley Stream resident to a STATS First Team All-American selection and the title of Colonial Athletic Association Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Now he has a chance to make an impact in the NFL.
“I’m not the one to be satisfied,” Ochi told The Statesman in March. “I know there’s a whole lot of football ahead of me, my best years are ahead of me. That’s not going to come just sitting around and just moping around. I’ve got to get to work.”
Ochi was the second Stony Brook student-athlete in school history to earn an invitation to the NFL combine, at which the country’s best draft-eligible players run through a weekend of physical and mental activities for scouts, coaches and other team personnel. Miguel Maysonet, who spent time with eight NFL teams but never made an active regular season roster, was the first Seawolf to participate in the event.
The 22-year-old also participated in the East-West Shrine Game. In that all-star contest, Ochi recorded a sack and four total tackles.
“Goes to Stony Brook off the radar, all he’s doing is sacking quarterbacks, getting after the signal-caller. All-star game, impactful player,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said on SportsCenter earlier in the spring. “Somebody’s going to get Victor Ochi third round and is going to have themselves a heck of a player getting after the quarterback.”
Other recent Stony Brook Football alumni who have spent time on NFL rosters are wide receivers Kevin Norrell and Adrian Coxson, as well as offensive lineman Michael Bamiro.
“He was in great spirits,” Chimienti said. “He’s very excited about the decision.”