The 2018 second-round draft pick needs to prove to the Arizona Cardinals that he’s capable of becoming a top-flight wide receiver
Two years have gone by now since the Arizona Cardinals added Christian Kirk to their wide receivers room. The Scottsdale native was selected in the second round of the 2018 draft, and was expected to do great things for the team he grew up watching on Sundays. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, but perhaps the Cards put a higher value on Kirk than he truly deserved.
In reality, Kirk’s first two campaigns in the NFL have been ordinary at best. Arizona was intrigued enough to use the 47th-overall pick on the former Texas A&M product, and were likely looking for more of a return on their investment. Could Kirk be ready for a breakout season this coming fall?
For the time being at least, the pressure may be off of the 23-year old Kirk. On March 16th, the Cardinals shocked the football world by acquiring the sensational DeAndre Hopkins in a trade with the Houston Texans. The arrival of the four-time Pro Bowler, coupled with the return of Larry Fitzgerald, has relegated Kirk to third wideout status.
Based on his production thus far as a professional, being the number-three receiver on the Cards depth chart may actually be the correct designation for the disappointing Kirk. However, Fitzgerald’s career is nearing it’s end, and the squad is going to need a replacement for the legend. Kirk has yet to prove to the organization that he’s worthy of assuming a starting role when the incredible Fitzgerald finally calls it quits.
As a rookie in ’18, Kirk hauled in 43 passes for 590 yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately, the 5’11, 200 pounder suffered a broken foot in week 13, and finished the year on the injured-reserve list.
In 2019, Kirk registered 68 receptions, 709 receiving yards and three scores in 13 contests for Big Red. All three of the touchdowns, however, occurred during a week 10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kirk also missed time again, sitting out three matchups because of an ankle sprain he suffered during a week four defeat to the Seattle Seahawks.
Arizona would love nothing more than to see Kirk put up huge numbers in 2020. Fitzgerald and Hopkins will garner a bunch of attention from opposing defenses, which could create sweet matchups for the former Aggie. Kirk needs to take advantage of every opportunity that comes his way, and make the Cardinals happy that they drafted him.