Eighteen Wildcats Open 2023 Season on NFL Rosters

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Eighteen former Kansas State players are on rosters as the 2023 NFL season kicks off Thursday night when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Detroit Lions.

The 18 former Wildcats on opening-weekend NFL rosters are the most since they had 19 to open the 2009 season. Of the 18 players, seven are off last year’s Big 12 Championship squad, including four draft picks in Felix Anudike-Uzomah (First Round – Kansas City), JuJu Brents (Second Round – Indianapolis), Josh Hayes (Sixth Round – Tampa Bay) and Deuce Vaughn (Sixth Round – Dallas). The seven Wildcat rookies on opening-weekend rosters are the most since at the 2003 season (9), while the four draft picks were the most since the 2002 draft.

The longest-tenured former K-State players on NFL rosters are Tyler Lockett and Cornelius Lucas, both entering their ninth seasons. Lockett has spent his entire career with the Seattle Seahawks, while Lucas is in his fourth year with the Washington Commanders after having spent time with the Detroit Lions (2014-16), Los Angeles Rams (2017), New Orleans Saints (2018) and Chicago Bears (2019).

Following a 45-0 shutout win over SEMO last weekend, 15th-ranked Kansas State hosts Troy on Saturday inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Standing-room only tickets are available for the 11 a.m., contest against the Trojans, and those can be purchased online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets or by phone at 1-800-221-CATS. The game will be shown on FS1 and can also be heard across the K-State Sports Network and on SiriusXM channel 83.

Former Wildcats on NFL Rosters

Felix Anudike-UzomahKansas CityDERookie
Ekow Boye-Doe^Kansas CityCBRookie
JuJu BrentsIndianapolisCBRookie
Josh HayesTampa BayDBRookie
Timmy Horne^AtlantaDL2nd Year
Malik Knowles*MinnesotaWRRookie
Tyler LockettSeattleWR9th Year
Cornelius LucasWashingtonT9th Year
AJ Parker*San FranciscoDB2nd Year
Byron PringleWashingtonWR6th Year
D.J. ReedNew York JetsCB6th Year
Duke ShelleyLos Angeles RamsDB5th Year
Kiondre Thomas^Green BayCB1st Year
Skylar ThompsonMiamiQB2nd Year
Deuce VaughnDallasRBRookie
Cody WhitehairChicagoOL8th Year
Russ YeastLos Angeles RamsDB2nd Year
Ty Zentner^HoustonPRookie

^ – Practice Squad; * – Injured Reserve