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April 28, 2012

Auburn long snapper Josh Harris signs with the Atlanta Falcons; safety Neiko Thorpe signs with Kansas City Chiefs

Rated as the best long snapper in the draft by nearly every scout, Auburn’s Josh Harris didn’t hear his name called in the seven rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft this weekend.

But he’s already found a good landing place. Harris confirmed shortly after the draft ended that he has signed as an undrafted free agent with the Atlanta Falcons.

“Ever since I was old enough to really know what NFL football was, the Falcons have always been my favorite team,” Harris said.  “To be able to play for a team that you grew up cheering for is a dream come true.”

Longtime snapper Joe Zelenka, an 11-year veteran who has been the Falcons’ snapper the past three seasons, re-signed with Atlanta on March 23.

But that doesn’t mean Harris has a huge uphill battle. Atlanta worked out Harris individually a week ago, and the Falcons told the three-year Auburn starter that the team was looking to get younger and cheaper at the position. The Ravens, Bengals, Lions and

Photo by Todd Van Emst

Broncos also showed interest in Harris, but he felt like Atlanta was the right fit.

“After doing some homework, researching it and seeing where I thought I had the best chance of making a roster, the Falcons were a good opportunity,” Harris said. “I went through my options and pulled the trigger.”

Former Auburn safety Neiko Thorpe, who finished second on the team with 102 tackles and led the team with three interceptions in 2011, signed a free-agent deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, according to AuburnSports.com.

Thorpe shot up draft boards after running a 4.40 40-yard dash and testing well on everything except the bench press at Auburn’s Pro Day. A tweener, Thorpe made 27 starts at cornerback in his Auburn career before shifting to free safety as a senior.

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1 Comment

  1. Kudos, Joel. You’re the first one to break this news.

    I am happy for the guys to get signed. The percentage of college players making the NFL seems to be in single digits. Those are very long odds.

    Comment by TigerEyez13 — April 29, 2012 @ 9:02 am

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