Plenty of scouts will be anxious to see former Texas A&M receiver Christian Kirk at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, and count one of the all-time great wideouts among those who are itching to see him in Indianapolis.
Steve Smith, who works as an NFL Network analyst, heaped praise on Kirk while breaking down the 10 receivers he’s most excited to watch in Indianapolis.
However, Monday’s piece doesn’t come without some reservations about the College Station star. Although Smith loved his versatility and physical abilities, he believes Kirk has question marks in a few areas.
“Captain Kirk is a tone-setter, can line up anywhere on the field and can do everything a coach asks based on his physical ability. Honestly, the kid could be great at quarterback if that’s where he wanted to play. At Texas A&M, Kirk played in a non-traditional system.
“The question I have is can he line up across an A.J. Bouye and beat him in press coverage? He’s never been put in that position, so there are questions about if he can thrive in a traditional pro-style offense. I also want to see him catch the ball more consistently with his hands (and less with his body). Today’s DBs are too good and make a play on the ball long before it reaches the receiver’s body.”
It’s worth noting that Kirk was the first player that Smith touched on, although he points out the receivers aren’t listed in any particular order. Also, Alabama’s Calvin Ridley wasn’t mentioned “because we already kind of know what we’re getting” with him.
Kirk is one of four Aggies who is scheduled to participate in the 2018 NFL Combine from Feb. 27 to March 5, along with DT Zaycoven Henderson, P Shane Tripucka and S Armani Watts.
According to SEC Country’s mock draft, Kirk is projected to go No. 8 overall to the Chicago Bears, ahead of Ridley at No. 16 overall to the Baltimore Ravens.
In 16 seasons, Smith was a 5-time Pro Bowler and 2-time All-Pro. He finished his career with eight 1,000-yard seasons, including four straight from 20005-08. In 2005, he recorded 103 receptions (tied for first in NFL), 1,563 receiving yards (first) and 12 receiving TDs (tied for first).
Smith is the Carolina Panthers’ all-time leader in all three major receiving categories.