Wildcats in the NFL: Thompson leads former Wildcats in 2022 preseason play

Skylar Thompson hands the ball off to Deuce Vaughn in the game against West Virginia. (Archive photo by Elizabeth Sandstrom | Collegian Media Group)

The NFL preseason is underway and several former Kansas State football players are flourishing with their professional teams. While some players made their pro debuts, others sport new uniforms. Perhaps the most popular splash thus far is Skylar Thompson’s play with the Miami Dolphins.

Skylar Thompson

Thompson has shown incredible potential this preseason. In the Miami Dolphins’ most recent preseason matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders, Thomposn completed nine of 10 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown. In his first appearance against Tampa Bay, Thompson started and played the entire game, throwing for 214 yards on 20 of 28 passes with a touchdown. 

Tyler Lockett

Tyler Lockett remains the most seasoned of former Wildcats playing in the NFL. The eight-year veteran receiver has played sparingly in the preseason, but was the second-most targeted (107) wide receiver on the Seattle Seahawks’ roster behind DK Metcalf (129) in 2021. 

He’s expected to be another top target for the franchise as Geno Smith steps into Russell Wilson’s role as starting quarterback following the trade of Wilson to the Denver Broncos.

Timmy Horne

Signed as a college free agent by the Atlanta Falcons, Horne recorded two tackles in the Falcons’ first preseason game against the Detroit Lions. It isn’t clear if Horne will make the 53-man roster at this time, but the defensive end’s run-stopping trait leans in his favor.

Horne spent one season with the Wildcats (2021) after transfering from the University of Charlotte where he recorded 18 tackles (16 solo; two assisted). The North Carolina native also completed three tackles for a loss and two sacks at K-State last season, according to Sports Reference.

AJ Parker

Parker started his rookie season as a cornerback on the Detroit Lions this past season. Parker recorded a tackle in the Lions road victory over the Indianapolis Colts last week and will look to continue these successes in the NFL this season for the Lions squad.

Parker signed as an undrafted free agent following the 2020 season after a stellar four-year career at K-State. During his time with the Wildcats, Parker recorded 145 tackles (118 solo, 27 assisted), 8.5 of those tackles for a loss. He also made six interceptions.

Elijah Lee 

The current Kansas City Chiefs player is another former Wildcat who found success in the NFL. Against the Washington Commanders, Lee recorded three tackles in the Chief’s 24-14 victory. 

In his six seasons in the NFL, Lee recorded 77 tackles (62 solo, 15 assisted) and one sack. The former third round selection in 2017 by the San Francisco 49ers is projected to be a backup on the Chiefs roster when they open the regular season against the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 11.

Byron Pringle

Byron Pringle, who was signed as a free agent in the offseason by the Chicago Bears,  hasn’t played much in the preseason due to a quadriceps injury. However, the former Wildcat and Chief’s player is selected as the starting slot receiver on Chicago’s roster.

Pringle won a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020 as a third-year player. He’ll get his first taste of regular season football with the Bears on Sunday, September 11 against the San Francisco 49ers.