Christian Kirk might start Week 1 for Arizona Cardinals

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Former Texas A&M wide receiver Christian Kirk is a rookie, but he is pushing the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff to start him in Week 1.

When the Arizona Cardinals made Christian Kirk the No. 47 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, they were undoubtedly expecting him to contribute right away. Unless you’re a quarterback, this is the case for most players taken in the first two rounds of the draft.

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That doesn’t necessarily mean you are guaranteed a spot in the starting lineup. You have to earn it. Apparently, that’s exactly what Kirk has been doing thus far in training camp. There is a pretty good chance he ends up getting the start in Week 1.

Kirk recently said this week via the Cardinals official website that was his goal from the very beginning.

"“That’s for sure the goal, anything less than that, I would be wrong if I didn’t have those expectations. I’ve said from day one I wanted to be a primary contributor.”"

It’s good to have that confidence, and it’s no wonder he has it. The former Aggie lit it up in his three seasons with the football team. He finished his career with 234 receptions (at least 70 every season), 2,856 yards and 26 touchdowns. He also added 120 rushing yards at 5.2 yards per carry, plus seven total touchdowns as a return man.

Kirk nearly took his first ever touch to the house. Within minutes of his first preseason game, he was showing the world what he could do on special teams.

But he had a solid showing as a receiver in his second preseason game, catching four passes for 49 yards. He seems to have developed a good rapport with fellow 2018 draft pick Josh Rosen, whom the Cardinals traded up in the draft to get the UCLA quarterback.

He has impressed the coaching staff throughout the entire offseason at practices.

"“I said this a while back – this guy comes to work as a pro every day,” first-year head coach Steve Wilks said, via the Cardinals website. “You watch him in individual work, (he’s) full speed. Special teams, full speed. He creates that mindset of practicing as how he wants to play. It as a great confidence booster for him to have the game that he had.”"

As a 5-star recruit who produced in college, the sky is the limit for Kirk at the next level. He will likely get reps as a receiver in his first year no matter what, but he has pushed the coaching staff to give him a shot in the starting lineup.

Kirk’s abilities in the slot will be invaluable for an offense that struggled last season. Arizona finished 15th in passing yards and tied for 20th with just 21 passing touchdowns in 2017.

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NFL teams are expected to make cuts and get down to 53 players in the coming weeks. With that will the official depth charts for Week 1 games. If you believe the reports coming out of training camp, expect to see Kirk’s name listed as a starter.

Jeff Shull is the Site Expert for the Gig Em Gazette on FanSided. Follow him on Twitter, and be sure to follow the Gig Em Gazette on Facebook and Twitter.