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Cardinals WR Christian Kirk has 'potential to go through the roof'

The Arizona Cardinals added star DeAndre Hopkins to a wide receiver corps that already contained future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald.

The duo's fame has sent potential breakout star Christian Kirk mostly back into the shadows. Don't count out the third-year wideout from putting his stamp on the offense in 2020.

"He's got it," quarterback Kyler Murray said of Kirk, via the team's official website. "I'm ready for him to unleash it."

While most viewed the addition of Hopkins -- a perennial All-Pro player who should be in all conversations about the best WR in football -- as a hindrance to Kirk's upside, Murray believes just the opposite.

"Adding D-Hop just makes Christian that much more dangerous to me," Murray said. "Last year, whenever we were 3x1, they'd single up one side and let the weakside safety play to the three-receiver side. It crowds it up for those guys. Now when you've got a guy like D-Hop at the 'X,' you've got to help."

Kirk getting more single-coverage could lead to a bevy of big plays his way. Perhaps his catch total might not increase, but his effectiveness within the offense and ability to create explosive plays could prove massive to Arizona's scheme.

After an up-and-down rookie campaign in 2018, the second-round pick looked poised to break out in 2019. It was a solid season in Kliff Kingsbury's first year in the desert, but injuries wiped out some of the upside. In 13 games, Kirk caught 68 of 108 targets for 709 yards and three TDs.

Kingsbury believes if Kirk stays healthy, "you're going to see his full potential."

"I see the potential to go through the roof," Kingsbury said. "Last year before he got hurt, I thought he was going to have a really, really big year. Unfortunately he had the ankle that slowed him down. But you see his mentality, you see his second year in this offense, third year in the pros. He just looks like a different guy."

Kirk knows his role as a field stretcher who can take advantage of the attention paid to Hopkins.

"I've got to back it up," Kirk said. "I've got to go out there and play the best football I can play. I believe in the offseason I put myself in the best position to be successful this year. I took it very seriously. I can't really talk about it -- talk about what I'm going to do or hope to do. I've just got to go out there and play, and make the opportunities when they come toward me."

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