2018 NFL Draft Preview: Christian Kirk

2018 NFL Mock Draft

Texas A&M
Receiver #3
Junior, 5’11” 200

The NFL’s continual increase in the use of slot receivers suggests explosive playmaker Christian Kirk can carve out a productive pro career.

Kirk embodied what it meant to be a sought-after recruit, and the A&M star hasn’t disappointed since as the first Aggie in program history to post consecutive 80-catch seasons. The electrifying receiver has been nothing short as a punt returner with an incredible five touchdowns in his two seasons, needing to match his total as a freshman (three) to set a new NCAA standard.

The junior’s level of athleticism is undoubtedly his best trait and acts as an umbrella, carrying over into different aspects of his game. He displays the fluid movement skills and tremendous route quickness to effectively hide his break points and is nuanced in his ability to vary route speed and layer patterns with deliberate head fakes without manipulating his stride. Kirk also has no trouble devouring cushion with feet that turnover at a rapid rate.

There’s certainly much to be enamored with, but Kirk has yet to put the all the necessary pieces to the puzzle. His rapid break points don’t consistently feature the desired balance due to feet and hips that aren’t kept underneath him, leading to excessive steps. Corners with length have managed to trap him against the sideline and unreliable handwork against press has lead to delayed releases.

With his playmaking ability and quickness and savvy from his slot role, Kirk has the potential to be first round selection next April. A&M often kept him hidden in the slot, so it remains to be seen if he can consistently win on iso-routes, but he has the vertical prowess to serve as an activator and has shown he can win in ways independent of speed. It’s reasonable to suggest he will be one of the first five receivers taken if he declares.

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