Earlier today, the Indianapolis Colts were awarded defensive backs Matthias Farley and Neiko Thorpe off of waivers.
Farley played collegiately at Notre Dame and really seemed to impress this preseason as an undrafted free agent with the Cardinals. Thorpe has been in the NFL a bit longer, as he’s been playing professional football for four years (three of which have been in the NFL) and last year was the Raiders’ number three corner. The Colts needed some extra depth in the secondary, but were these good moves to make?
In order to get a better idea about Farley and Thorpe, we reached out to SB Nation’s sites covering the Cardinals and Raiders. Here’s what they had to say.
First, here’s Seth Cox from Revenge of the Birds talking about Matthias Farley:
Farley was very similar to ex Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson. He's a steady if unspectacular athlete who always seems to be around the play, but it could be further away from the ball than you want.
His slightly limited athleticism, plus the fact Arizona just drafted a safety as well as signing one in free agency made it a numbers game that was going to be tough for Farley to win.
He also is a very good special teams contributor, which is what most Cardinals fans loved about him and the chance to make the roster.
I know most of the fans are extremely disappointed he was cut and were hopeful he'd make it through waivers.
And here’s Levi Damien from Silver and Black Pride on Neiko Thorpe:
I have liked Neiko Thorpe since his first training camp with the team. He is a big corner who worked his way back into the league after a season in the CFL. I like his attitude and approach. I remember speaking with him early on and unlike some players in his position (looking to break onto a roster) he didn't give me the "just doing what I always do, working hard" response. He said he was continuously tweaking and changing his approach and not taking no for an answer.
That approach paid off and he made the Raiders roster that season, spending the past two seasons with the team, appearing in 28 games.
Last season he was the team's nickel corner and had a game clinching interception in a win over the Ravens. He would move ahead of former top pick DJ Hayden on the depth chart by midseason and started two games.
This year the Raiders had a drastically improved secondary with the addition of Sean Smith, David Amerson's emergence and Hayden moved to slot corner. Thorpe found himself in a competition with last year's 7th round pick, Dexter McDonald. In camp McDonald showed some sticky coverage and ended up winning that battle; at least from the Raiders perspective.
Thorpe offers solid depth at corner as well as a consistent special teams contributor in blocking and on coverage teams. For proof, look at the 81-yard TD return George Atkinson had to close out the preseason. Thorpe laid the key block to get him the final 20 yards into the end zone.
Thanks a ton to both Seth and Levi for taking the time to give us some more info about Matthias Farley and Neiko Thorpe, and both guys sound like solid depth and special teams options for the Colts.