Jaguars must feel good about signing Christian Kirk and Zay Jones

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones (7) at the Knight Sports Complex at Episcopal School of Jacksonville. (Imagn Images photo pool)
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones (7) at the Knight Sports Complex at Episcopal School of Jacksonville. (Imagn Images photo pool) /

Trevor Lawrence is poised to make a leap this upcoming season but he alone can’t win football games. That’s why the Jacksonville Jaguars revamped their wide receivers corps in the offseason, signing Christian Kirk and Zay Jones. So far, the Jags should be pleased with their investment.

Kirk and Jones are expected to have featured roles in 2022 and the two of them have had a productive training camp. John Shipley of Jaguar Report says that Jones and Kirk were the stars on Day 10 of practice, which took place Monday.

"Kirk and Lawrence simply looked completely in sync on Monday. Kirk is the best pure separator the Jaguars have on offense and he played like it against the best cornerbacks the Jaguars have to offer, both in team drills and in one-on-one matchups.As for Jones, he had his best practice as a Jaguar and made at least one big play in each period. He won every one-on-one he had, including beating Darious Williams and giving rookie cornerback Gregory Junior a welcome to the NFL moment by easily beating him to get open and then forcing him to chase him by running in a zig-zag formation after the catch."

A second-round pick by the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, Kirk had his most productive NFL season last year, hauling in 77 receptions for 982 yards (both career bests) with five touchdowns. Meanwhile, Jones, also a former second-round selection, had 47 catches for 546 yards with one touchdown as a member of the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021.

Christian Kirk and Zay Jones round out the Jaguars WR group

Ever since Christian Kirk signed his four-year, $72 million contract, other wide receivers have gone on to get even richer deals, so saying that the Jags overpaid for him no longer has a leg to stand on. But even if they indeed paid a premium for his services, players are entitled to earn whatever a team thinks they’re worth, and Kirk was one of the best receivers available earlier this year, so it’s hard to fault the team’s brass for pursuing him.

Of course, Kirk and Jones now have to live up to expectations but barring injury, they will give Jacksonville’s wide receiver corps a significant boost. Marvin Jones Jr., who led the team in both receiving touchdowns and yards, is slated to once again be a key cog on offense. Also, Laquon Treadwell, who was one of Lawrence’s most productive targets in 2021, came back on a one-year deal.

The Jaguars’ wide receiver unit is far from the best in the league but it’s arguably one of their strongest position groups entering the 2022 season. Similarly, Jones and Kirk aren’t among the league’s top receivers but they both give Lawrence a pair of new targets, one that will help him improve in Year 2.

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