Jacksonville Jaguars 2023 Outlook: WR Christian Kirk
By Quinn Butler
Wide receiver Christian Kirk made headlines last offseason because the Jacksonville Jaguars seemingly overpaid for his services. Even though he was coming off a productive season for the Arizona Cardinals, he wasn't a bonafide No. 1 receiver, which is why observers thought the Jags had paid to much to get him.
Boy, did he prove everyone wrong! Kirk had a career year in his first season with the Jags, gaining 1,108 yards on 84 catches and scoring eight touchdowns. Looking back, he was as good as advertised and more. Besides career highs in both catches and receiving yards, the former Texas A&M Auggie played a huge role in the team's mid-season turnaround, so you could say that Jacksonville got a bang for their buck.
Normally, with a breakout year like that in 2022 and the success he and the rest of the offense had, one might think the second year in the system would lead to larger production and it may well have that effect.
After all, Kirk grew more and more comfortable with Trevor Lawrence as the year went on, showing up and delivering when the Jags needed him the most. However, the team's brass made an addition before last year's trade deadline that could have a big impact on his production next season.
Christian Kirk will still have a huge role for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2023
Projecting Kirk's total output in 2023 could be a little trickier due to the addition of Calvin Ridley, who was reinstated by the league after serving an indefinite suspension for betting on football games, as he will take away some of his targets. On the other hand, Ridley's presence could open things up for Kirk and other Jaguars' skilled position players, so there's a chance he'll post similar numbers to the ones he had last season.
The receiver room may seem crowded to some but the reality is the Jaguars' offense is stacked with playmakers and will be hard to defend. Kirk, Ridley, Zay Jones, and Evan Engram should all play off of each other and give each other plenty of opportunities to succeed.
Kirk's production in 2023 should realistically be pretty similar, maybe even a little better despite the arrival of Ridley. One would think that a good prediction may be 90 catches for 1,200 yards receiving and 10 receiving touchdowns.