Browns draft OL Bitonio, LB Kirksey in second and third rounds

Published:

Staff and wire report

BEREA -- The Cleveland Browns were expected to address a need a wide receiver during the 2014 NFL Draft and that was before news broke on Friday that Josh Gordon may be staring at a ban from the league for failing another drug test.

However, on Friday, with the Browns holding one second-round pick and one third-round pick, the franchise chose to focus on other areas of need.

In the second round, with the 35th overall pick, the Browns went a different direction, shoring up the offensive line by selecting Nevada's Joel Bitonio.

Bitonio is a 6-foot-4, 302-pounder that played tackle in college, but may be moved to guard with the Browns. His style of play has been described as "nasty."

"I like to play hard," he said. "Football is played to the whistle and you have to play as hard as you can every snap. If you can play that hard every play, then there's a good chance that if you're equally talented and use your technique well, you'll be able to beat the guy you're going against. I want to play as hard as I possibly can. I know the AFC North is a tough, hard-nosed division, and I hope I can a little bit of that to the team."

In the third round, the Browns again moved away from choosing a receiver.

Instead, they targeted Iowa inside linebacker Christian Kirksey with the No. 71 overall pick.

The 6-foot-1, 233-pound Kirksey is expected to play inside linebacker for Cleveland. He had 105 tackles last season, playing outside linebacker for the Hawkeyes. He made 38 starts and played in 49 games in college.

Earlier, the Browns selected Nevada offensive tackle Joel Bitonio at No. 35.

The Browns lack receiver depth and there is a report that Pro Bowler Josh Gordon is facing a possible suspension for failing a drug test. There were seven wide receivers taken in the second round.

Barring any trades, Cleveland has four picks remaining today for rounds four through seven. They are: No. 106 (fourth round), 127 (fourth round), 180 (sixth round), 218 (seventh round).

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.