MANHATTAN, Kan. – A pair of Kansas State defensive backs that concluded their collegiate careers in 2020 have earned their shot with NFL teams as the Detroit Lions announced the signing of AJ Parker and the Cleveland Browns have inked Kiondre Thomas. The duo joins Wyatt Hubert, a seventh-round draft pick by Cincinnati, as players on last year’s team to be added to NFL rosters.
Other Wildcats could sign undrafted free agent contracts with NFL teams, and those will be announced when they are made official by their respective franchises.
Parker was a 33-game starter for the Wildcats who played both nickelback and cornerback throughout his career. He was an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 pick in 2019 despite only playing in eight games as an injury cut his season short. That year, he totaled three interceptions and was tied for second in the Big 12 and 17th nationally in picks prior to his injury. A native of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Parker started nine contests last season, including the TCU game in which his interception-return touchdown in the second half was the difference in a 21-14 victory. Parker earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week and Jim Thorpe Award Player of the Week honors following the game against the Horned Frogs.
A graduate transfer from Minnesota prior to the season, Thomas played in eight games with starts in each of the final four contests of 2020. He had five tackles in the final two games of the year, while he batted away a pass in four different contests. Prior to K-State, Thomas played in 32 games with 16 starts in three years at Minnesota.