Christian Kirk – Texas A&M
WR 5’11 200 lbs
The immediate reaction to watching Christian Kirk’s tape is to be underwhelmed; there’s not an aspect of his game that is exceptional. And that’s ok.
Kirk was a five-star recruit coming out of high school, but he doesn’t appear to be particularly big or athletic; what he is is consistent. He has very good hands and makes tough plays in traffic look routine. He creates separation, not with speed, but uses a combination of technique and short area quickness. Once the ball is in his hands, Kirk transitions quickly to bring a runner and routinely tacks on 6-7 extra yards after the catch. (I’m becoming a subscriber to the theory that ability in the return game directly correlates to creating yards in close quarters after a reception.) He also seems to have an innate sense of when the quarterback is in trouble, working back toward the line of scrimmage to be a safety valve.
Kirk is never going to be a dominant deep threat or much of a factor in the red zone unless he is schemed open (similarly to the way the Dolphins deployed Jarvis Landry this past season.) Kirk can be bothered by physicality, especially on deeper routes; when a defender can get hands on him, Kirk sometimes struggles to separate. He also has a bad habit of rounding cuts at the top of his route, allowing the defender a better angle on the ball.
Kirk will succeed if he lands in a situation that will give him volume; his true value is not in splash plays, but in the ability to make the routine play again and again. He will move the chains and make plays in the dirty area of the field. Sometimes stability is sexy.