Christian Kirk’s time left in Arizona could be short
Arizona Cardinals receiver Christian Kirk fulfilled many native Arizonans’ dreams. He was a high school and college standout but has struggled in his three years as a Cardinal.
Arizona Cardinals receiver Christian Kirk had been on the team’s radar long before he reached Texas Tech. He won player of the week, and even had his picture taken with Big Red. It only seemed fitting that Kingsbury, the former Texas Tech head coach would implore general manager Steve Keim to draft him.
Now there has been some flashes of greatness. The most notable was the second-half explosion in Tampa Bay last year, where he caught 3 touchdowns in a losing effort. There was the Miami game this year where he went over 100 yards and snagged a touchdown as well. The Baltimore game from last year also can be a part of his top three games.
The problem is that those are his only 100-yard games as a pro. Why is it that a second round receiver can not get more yards? Of course, I know being behind Deandre Hopkins and Larry Fitzgerald doesn’t help. But when Fitzgerald was out due to COVID, Kirk posted a measly 4/21/0. There was the drop right before the half in the endzone of the Patriots game that would’ve changed the entirety of it.
We can’t forget about his rookie season and how bad the 2018 Cardinals were. Even with the team being as bad it was (I’m looking at you Mike McCoy/Rosen duo), Kirk was on his way to having a good rookie season for a 3-13 squad. His season ended in Green Bay. I attended this game with my girlfriend (now fiancé’) and sat through what seemed like raining slush- as someone who was born in Wisconsin, it was an unique weather game to win.
In this game, Kirk had about 90 total yards on offense and special teams, highlighted by a 23 yard jet/reverse play. But he was injured and left the game with a foot injury. Is it possible that this has hampered his career from year one?
Can’t blame the offensive scheme
Ever since Mike McCoy/ Byron Leftwich went away, the offense has been tailored to attack through the air. For his career, he’s averaged only a 61% catch rate on 241 targets. But his overall career catch rate has also decreased each year. He has more yards in losses than in wins if you look at his split stats. Kliff usually runs 11 personnel to get 4 receivers on the field.
Basically the Cardinals have tried to put him in situations to succeed, but for whatever reason, he is not producing as much as a second rounder should. It’s making me wonder personally if a veteran free agent could come in and be better at Kirk’s role. It wouldn’t be surprising to see competition being brought in sometime in the near future.
One last measuring method- 2018 receiver class
Looking at the second round group that was drafted, has featured players on teams that have struggled since they came into the league. They include: Courtland Sutton, DJ Chark and Anthony Miller. If we were to rank these in terms of yards, it would Sutton, Kirk, Chark, Miller. So for him to be in the top 2 of this group is great on paper. Take from this what you will.
Do you think Kirk should be on the “hot seat”? Should the Cardinals keep faith in him during an underwhelming year? Comment your thoughts below.