Wide receiver Christian Kirk has gotten the spotlight after a productive two-game stretch. But instead of using the attention he’s receiving to talk about the impact he’s had for the Jacksonville Jaguars this season, he took advantage of the opportunity to praise his teammates on the defensive side of the ball.
Kirk recently appeared on NFL Media’s Good Morning Football and touched on several topics, including the trust the Jags showed in him when they signed him in free agency earlier this year. “It shows they believe the player I can be“. The former Texas A&M Auggie also talked about what impresses him the most about rookie teammates Travon Walker and Devin Lloyd.
“I think maturity No. 1 is the thing that I see in Travon and Devin from the first day they got here”, Kirk said. “The level of professionalism that they already carried themselves with, picking up a new defense and new scheme and just coming in and play fast”.
“And it’s been really impressive to watch those two go out there and do what they’ve done. They’ve both have had interceptions already in the first two games and to have that type of impact on defense already, it’s been great”, Kirk said.
The Jaguars used the first overall selection in this year’s draft on Walker and they later traded back into the first round to take Lloyd at No. 27. As Kirk alluded, both rookie defenders have snagged an interception already. Walker’s came in the opener, and Lloyd recorded his in Jacksonville’s 24-0 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2. In fact, the former Utah Ute earned the highest grade among rookie defenders for his outstanding performance against Indy.
The Jaguars offseason additions are making an impact already
There were questions surrounding the additions the Jaguars made in free agency and the draft. Can Christian Kirk become a No. 1 receiver? Is guard Brandon Scherff going to stay healthy? Will the Travon Walker gamble pay off? All those questions have been answered, and all of these players have gone on to become key contributors.
Going back to Travon Walker and Devin Lloyd, both rookies have become important pieces in Mike Caldwell’s group. First-round picks are expected to have an immediate impact and both of them have delivered. Keep in mind that they’ve played just two games, so while it’s reasonable to think that they will eventually hit a few speed bumps, they should also get better by the end of the season.
On offense, Kirk has become the primary offense on target, and his ability to line up anywhere across the field gives the coaching staff flexibility to come up with plays that make it difficult for opposing teams to know what’s happening. Moreover, his presence draws attention away from teammates Marvin Jones Jr., Zay Jones, and Evan Engram.
This is a young season and the Jaguars can’t afford to take the foot off the gas pedal. And if they want to beat the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3, Kirk, Lloyd, Walker, and all of Jacksonville’s playmakers will need to show out.