2014 NFL Draft: AFC North Picks, Rounds 2 & 3

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The Pittsburgh Steelers and rivals within the AFC North Division had an interesting Day 2 on Friday.  Let’s take a look at what the rest of the AFC North did in the second and third rounds.

Cleveland Browns

Round 2, 35th Overall: Joel Bitonio, OT Nevada

The Browns continue their wild push through the draft.  After some trades and eventually taking Johnny Manziel late in the first round, the Browns took an opportunity in the second to keep the grass stains off Manziel’s jersey in 2014.  He’s nasty and fast.  There’s not much downside to this guy other than improving some of his technique out of his stance and that he might be more suited at guard than tackle in the NFL.

"Bitonio happens to be one of my favorite players in this draft. If you put tape on of him blocking Anthony Barr of UCLA, he’s a first round pick; Bitonio shut Barr down. Barr is a powerful guy. He handled every athletic edge guy he faced. He’s quicker than you think, with better feet than people think.   – Mike Mayock"

Bitonio will probably see action on the line early and often for the Browns.  In a span of 2,054 snaps he allowed only two sacks and was penalized just five times. I’d say that’s pretty darn good.  Steelers new NT Stephon Tuitt will need to find a way to bowl this kid over on the inside next season.

Round 3, 71st Overall, Christian Kirksey, OLB Iowa

Jan 1, 2014; Tampa, Fl, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Odell Beckham (3) runs as Iowa Hawkeyes linebacker Christian Kirksey (20) dives during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns moved back to defense for their lone third round pick (they traded out a second third round pick earlier in the draft).  The Browns went with Kirksey, who is not even in the top ten of eligible linebackers in this draft.  What is alluring for the Browns is Kirksey’s versatility.

"The Browns got a plan and they are not deviating from it. I think Kirksey can play inside or outside, and he’ll play inside for the Browns. This is another good, solid pick for the Browns.     – Mike Mayock"

We’ll see how Kirksey will fit into this program, but he’s surely a developmental project for the the Browns for at least a season.