Christian Kirk has become go-to guy of the Cardinals offense
By Jim Koch
The fourth-year wide receiver is a big reason why the Arizona Cardinals currently possess the NFL’s third-ranked passing attack.
Over the past three weeks, the Arizona Cardinals have unleashed one of the most explosive passing attacks in the National Football League.
Cards quarterback Kyler Murray has benefited from an extremely impressive group of wide receivers, a contingent that includes experienced veterans such as DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green. The squad also employs a fourth-year pass-catcher who appears to be establishing himself as Murray’s number-one target.
Christian Kirk, Arizona’s second-round draft pick back in 2018, is off to an outstanding start in 2021. In three games thus far, the Texas A&M University product has hauled in 15 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns for the Redbirds. Kirk is averaging 15.9 yards per reception, and has caught an excellent 88.2 percent of the passes that have been thrown his way.
Arizona Cardinals wideout is performing at an elite level in a contract year
The first three seasons of Kirk’s professional career can best be described as a rollercoaster ride. The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder displayed flashes of brilliance at times, but bouts of inconsistency were also an issue with the youngster.
As a rookie in 2018, Kirk tallied 43 catches, 590 receiving yards and three touchdowns for the Cardinals. A year later, the Scottsdale native registered 68 receptions, 709 yards and another three scores. Last fall, Kirk was credited with 48 catches, 621 yards and six touchdowns in 14 contests (10 starts) for the organization.
Through three games this season, Kirk is well on his way to his best performance yet. Coincidentally (or not), the 24-year-old will be entering the free agent market next March. The Cards have Kirk at a bargain rate at the present time ($2.4 million base salary according to Spotrac.com), but will more than likely have to pony up much more for his services in 2022.
Kirk is looking more and more like the go-to guy in head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s “Air Raid” offense. That’s saying a lot, considering the fact that he’s playing alongside talented receivers like Hopkins and Green. It took awhile, but Kirk is finally performing at a level that Arizona expected when they drafted him back in 2018.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)