September 14, 2013; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones running back James White (8) gets hit by Iowa Hawkeyes linebacker Christian Kirksey (20) in the first quarter at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-US PRESSWIRE
Weight: 235 pounds
40 Yard Dash:
Scouting Report/Player Notes
Christian Kirksey is a very well-rounded linebacker prospect who looks like a starter in the NFL as well as a potential special teams ace. Team captain and tackling machine who has a nose for the ball and makes plays sideline to sideline. Kirksey’s range and coverage abilities make him a fantastic fit for any NFL defense, though he might be slightly undersized to play MLB in a 3-4 defensive alignment.
I think Kirksey is an ideal WLB in the NFL, with the ability to play in the middle if need be. With his athletic ability, you could line him up with tight ends or backs in the passing game, and I think he’d be effective in both areas. Kirksey has been a full-time starter since his sophomore season at Iowa, so he has a ton of experience and should finish his career as one of the leading tacklers in school history.
Overall, I think the value on the kind of prospect that Kirksey is as an OLB in a 4-3 defense has diminished in recent years, even though guys like Luke Kuechly, who are supremely talented prospects, have gotten drafted high. Kirksey has a chance to be a steal as a mid-late round pick because I think he’ll test well and Iowa isn’t getting huge national recognition of late. Some team could get him in the fourth or maybe fifth round, even though he could provide the value of a second or third round player. I just think there’s so many different ways he can contribute, and he’s willing to take coaching and do whatever is asked of him. His instincts around the ball are hard to mistake.
This is a prospect I really like.
Video Highlights (via YouTube)
Career Highlights (via Iowa athletics site)
Tied for first in the Big Ten and second in the nation with four recovered fumbles in 2012 . . . one of eight players in the nation with two interception returns for touchdowns in 2012 . . . ranked 10th in the Big Ten in tackles per game (7.5) . . . 68-yard interception return in win over Minnesota ranks as 12th longest in school history . . . became 68th player in school history to record 200 career tackles with eight stops at Michigan . . . 211 career tackles tied for 56th in career stops . . . ranked seventh in the Big Ten in tackles per game (8.5) in 2011 . . . one of nine true freshman to see action in 2010.