The Green Bay Packers surprised the NFL world by drafting quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. General Manager Brian Gutekunst made the bold move to take a player who may not contribute for several years.
Yet he also made other moves in order to stay competitive in 2020. One interesting signing was that of linebacker Christian Kirksey. The former Cleveland Browns captain has appeared in a total of nine games throughout the past two seasons and was given a two-year, $16 million deal to come to Green Bay. His injury history, coupled with the fact the Packers lost two linebackers in free agency, makes him a top boom-or-bust player for the Packers in 2020.
The linebacker was a third-round pick of the Browns in 2014 and played in all 16 games every year from 2014-2017. Then the injuries struck when the Browns actually started to win games. Kirksey recorded a total of 54 tackles between 2018-2019 and that led to the Browns releasing him this past offseason.
The history is there between Kirksey and current Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine from their shared time in Cleveland. Pettine drafted the linebacker and his word may have led the front office in Green Bay to take a chance on a player who has been unable to stay healthy as of late.
Kirksey finished with 148 tackles in 2016 and 138 in 2017 and never stopped playing hard on some historically bad Browns teams. The Packers are hoping for that player in the "boom" scenario. The "bust" is the team wasting millions on someone who spends the year on injured reserve.