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Two former Hawkeyes chosen in NFL Draft’s third round

[ 0 ] May 9, 2014 |

Two down. And perhaps as many as three Iowa football players to go.

Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz and linebacker Christian Kirksey were the first two Hawkeyes to hear their names called Friday during the 2014 NFL draft.

More could be selected when the process resumes at 11 a.m. Saturday.

C.J. Fiedorowicz caught 91 passes during his college career, for 899 yards and 10 touchdowns. (Ben Roberts/HawkCentral)

C.J. Fiedorowicz caught 91 passes during his college career, for 899 yards and 10 touchdowns. (Ben Roberts/HawkCentral)

The 6-foot-7, 265-pound Fiedorowicz was taken by the Houston Texans with the first pick of the third round and the 65th overall. Less than 30 minutes later, the 6-2, 235-pound Kirksey was chosen by the Cleveland Browns with the 71st pick.

With Fiedorowicz and Kirksey going on the same day, Iowa has already topped last year’s draft showing, when Micah Hyde was the only Hawkeye selected.

Fiedorowicz arrived in Iowa City as a high school all-American from Johnsburg, Ill. He went on to catch 91 passes during his college career, for 899 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Texans are in rebuild mode after finishing 2-14 last season.

“They want a blocker who can get down the field a little bit,” Mike Mayock of the NFL Network told a national television audience.

Fiedorowicz’s best statistical season came in 2012 (45 receptions, 433 yards), but he continued to develop as a reliable red-zone target last fall.

He is the seventh Iowa tight end to be drafted since 2000 and the eighth overall under Kirk Ferentz, but the first since Tony Moeaki was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2010.

Fiedorowicz was the fifth tight end taken in the 2014 draft class.

Christian Kirksey is the sixth Iowa linebacker selected to the NFL Draft in the Kirk Ferentz era. (David Scrivner/HawkCentral)

Christian Kirksey is the sixth Iowa linebacker selected to the NFL Draft in the Kirk Ferentz era. (David Scrivner/HawkCentral)

“The more tape I watched, the more I liked of this kid,” Mayock said. “I felt like there was five tight ends who would go in the first three rounds.

“And after that, it was going to drop off. It’s not a deep tight end class, and he’s the last of the five quality tight ends.”

Kirksey, meanwhile, was a three-star recruit from St. Louis who made 315 career tackles for Iowa.

“This kid Kirksey is one of three potential linebackers to be drafted this year out of the University of Iowa,” Mayock said. “He’s a good football player. I think he could play inside or outside.

“He’ll play inside for the Browns.”

James Morris and Anthony Hitchens are the other Iowa linebackers who could be chosen Saturday afternoon. Offensive lineman Conor Boffeli is another possible pick.

While their wait continues, Hawkeye assistant coach Chris White sent congratulations.

“So proud of Christian Kirksey tonight!” White tweeted. “Brownies are doing their homework! Great pick!”

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Category: Big Ten, Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Andrew Logue: Andrew has been with the Des Moines Register for 15 years, covering everything from preps to Hawkeye and Cyclone sports, as well as the Drake Relays. View author profile.

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