Not long after CJ Fiedorowicz became the first Hawkeye selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns took Christian Kirksey with the 7th pick of the third round as the 71st overall selection.
Kirksey is the first of the linebacker trio that Kirk Ferentz will have difficulty replacing next season. Projected as a third round choice going in, Kirksey joins a Cleveland Browns organization that has been very active in this year’s draft.
Last night, after trading the 4th overall pick to the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland slid down to the eight pick in the first round to select Justin Gilbert, a cornerback from Oklahoma State. The Browns were not finished in the round, trading back into play to select Johnny Manziel with the 22nd overall pick.
Keep an eye on a potential position change for Kirksey. Entering the professional ranks at 6’1, 233 lbs, he is a bit undersized for the linebacker position in the NFL. Regardless, during his time in Black and Gold, Kirksey possessed a knack for finding the football and making critical defensive plays. That ability will pay large dividends for him playing in the physical AFC North.
For Iowa fans looking to see Kirksey and Fiedorowicz share the same field again, Fiedorowicz’s Texans travel to Cleveland to play Kirksey’s Browns on November 16th.