2018 Raiders Draft Profile:
Name: Christian Kirk
School: Texas A&M
Weight: 200 pounds
While Kirk does not possess an outstanding catch radius, he catches with a confidence. However, due to his lack of length, the ball must be placed near his body. Kirk will make the fearless catch in traffic, allowing the hands to lead him into traffic.
Kirk’s style of burst is uncommon for a wideout. His build (5’11, 200) suggests running back, and it shows in his running style. Kirk explodes through a pattern with shorter strides that give him immediate separation. When running deeper routes, that gait helps Kirk maintain his speed without having to adjust for the ball in flight. As a result, whenever Kirk touches the ball, he is a threat to take it the distance. At Texas A&M, Kirk scored on receptions, punt and kick returns.
Due to his size, Kirk excels in the slot. While his route tree remains wide open, Kirk favors the slant, deep post, out and screen. Cutting remain an underrated aspect to his game. Kirk cuts hard with a strong plant foot and opens his hips to the pass. He must improve on using the double move as his pads will rise slightly, slowing his progress. In return, defenders would know the transition into another route.
A&M used Kirk on jet sweep, highlighting his ability to get to the corner. With Raiders WR Coach Edgar Bennett’s history with Randall Cobb, Kirk could provide a similar spark.
With Jalen Richard and Seth Roberts’ 2017 play indicate they have reached a crossroads. With Jon Gruden assuming head coach duties, he will want to put his own stamp on the offense. Not to mention, special teams coach Rich Bisaccia needs to overhaul a weak return game. Kirk provides the Raiders an opportunity for both. In the slot, he would give Derek Carr a target on third downs with the potential to cut upfield. Seth Roberts’ history of drops and penalties does not seem to fit the Gruden mold. Not to mention, Jalen Richard’s fumbling and lack of explosion in 2017. Kirk could slide into both roles and possibly free up a roster spot. Right now, Kirk appears to be a mid-to-late Day 2 draft option for the Raiders.