Ten Former Wildcats Ready for Start of 2019 NFL Season

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From K-State Athletics

As the NFL kicks off its 100th season on Thursday night, 10 former Kansas State players made NFL rosters as organizations set their active rosters and practice squads following the mandatory cut down from 90 training camp players to 53 on the active roster on Saturday.

The longest-tenured former Wildcat is running back Darren Sproles, who enters his 15th year overall and sixth with the Philadelphia Eagles. Sproles opens the year with 19,520 career all-purpose yards to lead all active players and rank sixth in NFL history, needing only 163 yards to enter the top five.

Following Sproles in terms of longevity are a pair of fifth-year players in wide receiver Tyler Lockett, who has spent his entire career with Seattle, and offensive lineman Cornelius Lucas, who is in his first year with the Chicago Bears.

The Bears feature the most Wildcats in 2019 as Lucas is joined by another offensive lineman in Cody Whitehair and cornerback Duke Shelley. Whitehair enters his fourth year with Chicago, the team that drafted him in 2016, and recently inked a five-year contract extension with the organization. Shelley was selected by Chicago in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Joining Shelley as a 2019 draftee is Dalton Risner, who was selected in the second round by the Denver Broncos. The duo extended K-State’s Big 12-leading streak with at least one player selected in the NFL Draft to a Big 12-record 26 years, a mark that is also tied for 11th in the nation.

Offensive lineman B.J. Finney enters his fourth season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, while defensive end Jordan Willis begins his third campaign with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Wildcats also have a pair of second-year players in wide receiver Byron Pringle, who plays for the Kansas City Chiefs, and defensive back D.J. Reed, who plays for the San Francisco 49ers.

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Mitch Fortner

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