From the Plains to the pros: Neiko Thorpe

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 2, 2014 

Neiko Thorpe (38) tries to break up a pass caught by Devon Wylie (83) during the Kansas City Chiefs minicamp in 2012. The former Auburn corner is now a member of the Oakland Raiders.

KYLE RIVAS — Getty Images

Editor's note: Auburn has a rich history of sending players to the NFL. With that in mind, beat writer Ryan Black takes a look at each former Tiger that finds himself on an NFL roster (or should be once free agency and training camps shake out). The series will begin with those who have already been in the league for more than one season and conclude with the latest crop of players to land in the NFL, either through the draft or as an undrafted free agent.

Neiko Thorpe, Oakland Raiders

Position: Cornerback

Drafted: Undrafted; signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in 2012

Career stats (through two seasons): Appeared in nine regular season games (10 starts); five tackles

2014 outlook: The only action Thorpe saw in the regular season last year didn't even come in the United States. Instead, he had jumped to the Canadian Football League, signing with the Toronto Argonauts last September. During his time with the Argonauts, he recorded five tackles and a fumble recovery. But in January, the team released him to pursue NFL opportunities. It paid off, as he landed a deal with the Oakland Raiders later that month. He went through organized team activities and the team's recent minicamp, but it will be tough for Thorpe to crack the 53-man roster. Best-case scenario, he's placed on the practice squad and gets called up during the season if another one of the Raiders' corners goes out with an injury.

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