4. Jaguars WR Christian Kirk goes over 1,200 receiving yards and 10 TDs
The Jaguars made several splash signings in free agency but the one that got (mostly for the wrong reasons) the most attention was giving wide receiver Christian Kirk a four-year, $72 million contract that can be worth up to $80 million. So why exactly was the deal panned by most talking heads?
Simple, Kirk has never had a 1,000-yard season throughout his NFL career. Furthermore, he has reached the end zone just 16 times over the last four years. That’s not the kind of production you expect from a team’s No. 1 receiver. Yet, that’s the role Jacksonville expects him to fulfill in 2022. Having said that, the deal isn’t as bad as it seems once you dig deeper.
Kirk has gotten better each year and performed well as the Arizona Cardinals’ top receiver when called upon. Furthermore, the former Texas A&M Aggie played 79 percent of his snaps in the slot last year and saw an uptick in production. The Jaguars’ coaching staff will most likely give him a similar role in 2022, with some tweaks, and should finish the season with even better numbers.
It’s not hard to envision Kirk becoming Trevor Lawrence’s favorite target as the year progresses. Also, the presence of Marvin Jones Jr. and tight end Evan Engram might make it difficult for teams to double team Kirk. This will, in turn, allow him to catch 80 passes and go over 1,000 yards and 10 receiving touchdowns for the first time in his NFL career.