ARIZONA CARDINALS

Christian Kirk: It’s surreal to be drafted by Arizona Cardinals

Apr 27, 2018, 6:59 PM

Texas A&M wide receiver Christian Kirk (3) breaks away from New Mexico safety Jacob Girgle (16)...

Texas A&M wide receiver Christian Kirk (3) breaks away from New Mexico safety Jacob Girgle (16) for a touchdown after a catch during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

(AP Photo/Sam Craft)

TEMPE, Ariz. – As a highly sought-after wide receiver coming out of Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Christian Kirk chose to leave home for college. Three years later, he returns toe the Valley, excited to begin his pro career for the NFL franchise right in his backyard.

On Friday, Kirk’s football journey came full circle when the Arizona Cardinals pick him in the second round, with the 47th overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft.

“It’s just, honestly, all so surreal. A lot of emotions. All the hard work that’s been put in and just how long this journey has been. To have this moment with my family and friends all around me,” he said, speaking on a conference call.

“Obviously, to be able to come home and play for the hometown team … When I got that phone, it was just so surreal. Just no words to be able to describe it.”

Kirk excelled at Saguaro, winning three state championships and setting a new state record with 103 career touchdowns before heading to Texas A&M, turning down a scholarship offer from Arizona State to do so.

At A&M, Kirk topped 900 receiving yards in each of his three seasons. It was on special teams, though, where he really made his mark. Kirk averaged better than 20 yards on kick (21.8) and punt (22.0) returns with seven total touchdowns, including a 79-yard score against the Sun Devils in his very first game.

The Cardinals need help at both receiver and in the return game.

Behind Larry Fitzgerald, there are several question marks, be it the consistency of J.J. Nelson or the development of Chad Williams — the latter of whom was a third-round pick a year ago. The other receivers in the room include Carlton Agudosi, Brice Butler, Cobi Hamilton and Rashad Ross.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals had the 22nd-best return game in 2017.

“Wherever I can bring value and have an impact on the field,” said Kirk, who added he expects to play more outside receiver with Fitzgerald lined up in the slot.

Speaking of Fitzgerald, he and Kirk are good friends and have been for quite some time now.

“He’s a mentor for me,” Kirk said. “He’s always been a guy that I’ve always looked up to, just not only on the field, but off the field, to be able to carry myself. The things that he does in the community. I’m just so excited to be get with him and be able to learn from a future Hall of Fame wide receiver and go out there and be able to play together.”

Fitzgerald won’t be the only familiar face to Kirk inside the Cardinals locker room.

Kirk and running back D.J. Foster were high school teammates, while Kirk played with tight end Ricky Seals-Jones and cornerback Brandon Williams at A&M.

“I think it’s a perfect fit,” Kirk said.

Kirk was the fifth receiver taken off the board, behind D.J. Moore (24th overall, Carolina), Calvin Ridley (26th, Atlanta), Courtland Sutton (40th, Denver), and Dante Pettis (44th, San Francisco).

“I left home for college and was able to branch out and experience new things. I love coming home so much and am so happy to be back,” Kirk said.

“It’s just so crazy how things go full circle. It feels like all of the stars aligned and it was meant for me to be here. God has set me on this path and this is just one of his blessings. I can’t be any more grateful.”

Arizona Cardinals

BJ Ojulari looks on at OTAs...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals questions post-NFL Draft: Who separates themselves at pass rusher?

The Arizona Cardinals' pass-rushing department is in need of someone firmly taking the reins within the outside linebackers room.

10 hours ago

Marvin Harrison Jr. poses after getting drafted by the Arizona Cardinals...

Tyler Drake

Marvin Harrison Jr. jerseys: Can Arizona Cardinals finally buy them?

Marvin Harrison Jr. signing his rookie contract simultaneously opened the door for Cardinals fans to secure the wide receiver's jersey.

1 day ago

Marvin Harrison Jr. catches a pass during Cardinals rookie minicamp...

Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals sign Marvin Harrison Jr. to 4-year contract

The Cardinals signed rookie wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. to a four-year contract that includes a fifth-year option on Thursday.

1 day ago

BJ Ojulari at OTAs...

Tyler Drake

Growth of Arizona Cardinals’ BJ Ojulari, Garrett Williams on display at OTAs

Second-year pros BJ Ojulari and Garrett Williams could be competing for significant roles for the Arizona Cardinals this offseason.

1 day ago

Cardinals leadership and mental health awareness discussion...

Tyler Drake

Leading the right way: Cardinals, Jonathan Gannon host high school coaches for panel on uplifting athletes

A handful of Arizona Cardinals made time out of their day to discuss the value of the leadership with local high school coaches on Tuesday.

2 days ago

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at L...

Character Counts

Kyler Murray makes championship match of charity chess tournament

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray doesn't mind some chess in his spare time and he elevated that hobby on Wednesday.

2 days ago

Christian Kirk: It’s surreal to be drafted by Arizona Cardinals