Photo credit: Dylan Buell / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
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You could see it last year. Arizona Cardinals rookie wide receiver Christian Kirk was ahead of the curve compared to most of the other pass catchers from the 2018 NFL Draft class. Kirk showed big play capabilities right from the get go and you saw a lot of the same things when he was at Texas A&M.
This is a player who was a dynamite punt returner in college and Kirk is just as deadly in the pros. The main strength of his game is definitely his speed and that’s why he runs a lot of deep routes. Christian Kirk often utilizes fades, digs, and posts down the field. Because he’s so good at making the defense respect his vertical skills a lot of times that opens up the comeback route for him near the sidelines too. Another way the Cardinals use Kirk is on shallow crossing routes and bubble screens. Those plays allow him to use his speed after the catch. When you have a great athlete you want to get him the ball in space and the Cardinals did a good job of that in 2018. The result was 590 yards and 3 touchdowns out of the gate for the former second round draft pick. Which is so crucial for Kirk heading into this upcoming season. From here on out he knows without a doubt that he can perform at a high level in this league. Once a players starts to become more aware then it translates into confidence. The Christian Kirk we’re hearing about at OTAs is a culmination of probably a decade or so of hard work. Give him a ton of credit though he’s defied the odds and manifested his destiny every step of the way. Now we’re at a stage where he’s starting to step into a leadership role. Over the next year or two Larry Fitzgerald is going to hand the torch to Kirk and then step away from the game. It’s well deserved and he’s a key piece in this franchise’s future.
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Christian Kirk is making strides at Arizona Cardinals off-season workouts.