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2018 NFL Draft prospect profile: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

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Could TAMU’s exciting receiver be a Giant in 2018?

NCAA Football: Auburn at Texas A&M Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Just a year ago, the New York Giants were thought to have one of the best and deepest receiving corps in the NFL. But with Brandon Marshall aging and his status uncertain, Sterling Shepard entering the second half of his rookie contract, and the teams’ relationship Odell Beckham Jr. complicated by a contract negotiation and persistent media noise, the team could be looking at wide receivers more closely than fans might realize.

Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk has a mental mak-up to appeal to the team, and has been been both an exciting play maker and a consistent producer on the field. Dave Gettleman has generally preferred big receivers, but could he make an exception for Kirk?

Measurables

Pros

  • Highly productive receiver. Averaged just under 1,000 yards and 9 touchdowns over his three seasons.
  • Quick in and out of breaks. Able to gain separation with his route running.
  • Adjusts well to the ball in the air.
  • Finds soft spots in zone coverage.
  • Uses his body to shield the ball from the defender.
  • Good punt returner and capable kick returner. Averaged 22 yards per punt return and has had 6 touchdowns.
  • Reportedly strong work ethic with a competitive and professional mentality.

Cons

  • Undersized. Will likely be considered a “slot receiver only” at the next level.
  • Good but not great speed.
  • Is quick on the field, but doesn’t quite have “quick twitch” athleticism, as evidenced by his 3-cone and short shuttle times.
  • Doesn’t have a great catch radius.

Prospect video

What they’re saying

IN OUR VIEW: Although he needs to hone his finishing skills as a receiver and return man to take his game from good to great, all the traits are there for Kirk to be an immediate slot weapon and return man. He might not have the ceiling of a NFL No. 1 receiver, but he has one of the highest floors in this draft class, which could land him in round one.

Dane Brugler (NFLDraftScout.com)

Final thoughts

Kirk has been one of the most highly regarded receivers in college football over the last three seasons, referred to by some scouts as a “baby Beckham” for his ability to make game-breaking plays with the ball in his hands.

But unlike Odell Beckha Jr., Kirk doesn’t quite have that same electric twitch to his game that makes it look as though he has a cheat code and is playing at a different speed than everyone else on the field. Instead, Kirk makes use of an explosive lower body and quick breaks to gain separation and feast on zone coverages.

He will likely be limited to the slot at the next level, with added value as a kick and punt returner. He can be a real weapon for a team that likes to use quick passes and spacing to get their receivers the ball in space. That is something Pat Shurmur’s offense typically does, but with the original Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard already in the fold, the Giants will probably look elsewhere.