There’s no question the Lions must add to their receiving corps this offseason, so is Christian Kirk a fit?
After diving into the shallow end of the free agent pool for wide receivers last offseason, the Detroit Lions may be willing to be more aggressive this offseason. The need to bolster the wide receiver corps is clear.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Matt Bowen (subscription required) have compiled a list of the top 50 NFL free agents for 2022 with team fits. The two analysts paired Christian Kirk, lately of the Arizona Cardinals, with the Lions.
Via Pride of Detroit, here’s what Fowler and Bowen wrote about the pairing of Kirk and the Lions.
"With $20 million in cap space and one of the league’s weaker receiving corps, the Lions are well-positioned to sign a high-caliber player to bolster the passing game. That Kirk can lineup inside or out will help his free agency profile,”"
"A consistent route runner on schemed concepts who can also create for himself, Kirk would bring speed and vertical ability to the Lions’ pass game, which would complement the play style of Amon-Ra St. Brown in Detroit,”"
How might Christian Kirk fit into the Lions’ offense?
Kirk is coming off the best season of his career in 2021. He appeared in all 17 games, with 77 receptions for 982 yards (both career-highs) with five touchdowns. He also set a clear career-high in catch rate, as he corralled 74.8 percent of the passes that came his way.
Before being drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cardinals, the Texas A&M product posted a sub-4.5 second 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine. That speed hasn’t totally translated to big yards per catch averages on the whole, but Kirk has shown downfield explosiveness. As Fowler noted, Kirk works out of the slot a good bit (406 snaps in 2021, according to Player Profiler), and could be interchangeable with Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Kirk is line for a solid pay day, in a deep free agent class of wide receivers. As the Lions survey options, the 25-year old should be firmly on the radar.