The Texas A&M star WR/KR was the Cardinals’ second selection in the draft.
Kirk is a Scottsdale native and he’ll no doubt be excited to play in Glendale, which is only 20 miles away. He will also be excited to play with Josh Rosen, the number 10 overall pick from UCLA. Rosen will be in competition with Sam Bradford and Drew Stanton for the starting quarterback position. Kirk will also be able to learn from future Hall of Famer wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. 11-time Pro Bowler Fitzgerald has racked up over 1,200 catches, 15,545 receiving yards, and 110 TDs in his 14-year career. J.J Nelson and Chad Williams are the other wide receivers on the depth chart.
A five-star recruit out of Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, Kirk found immediate success as a starter in college. Earning the starting job at wide receiver as a true freshman, Kirk burst on the scene and wasn’t a stranger to the bright lights. Over the course of his career, Kirk hauled in 234 receptions for over 2,800 yards and 26 touchdowns. He was also named to the All-SEC team every year in his college career. In his final game as an Aggie, Kirk had an incredible game with 13 catches for 189 yards and 3 receiving touchdowns.
Kirk will join a Cardinals offense ranked 22nd in the NFL with 314.1 passing yards per game and 25th in the NFL with 18.4 points per game. Arizona finished with a record of 8-8 and 3rd in the NFC West. The offense is highlighted by running back David Johnson, who missed 15 games last season with a dislocated wrist. On defense, the Cardinals are led by veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson.
Kirk has a bright future ahead of him and playing in his home state is certainly a huge benefit. Fritz Martin Management is a leading marketing company and is run by Jamie Fritz, one of the top sports agents in the business.
A champion at both the collegiate level and now the NFL, Ronald Darby has plenty of experience in big time moments. A two-sport athlete in track and football during high school, Darby combined his exceptional athleticism with his solid work ethic to earn a scholarship to Florida State.
However before committing to Florida State, Darby had another focus: the 2011 World Youth Championships in Athletics. He would go on to win bronze in the 200 m and gold in the Medley relay.
Darby immediately earned playing time as a true freshman at Florida State. The 2012 Florida State team led the ACC in points allowed with 15.1 on average per game and ended the year ranked 7th in the FBS. Despite limited playing time Darby racked up 18 tackles and broke up 7 passes. His impressive true freshman season earned him ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Darby continued his high level of play into his sophomore year, where he had 14 tackles and 2 interceptions. Darby and his teammates’ hard work cumulated in their Florida State team winning the 2013 BCS National Championship.
After his junior year, Darby declared for the NFL draft and was the first player drafted by the Buffalo Bills in that year’s draft. Darby’s athleticism and work ethic helped him adjust quickly to the NFL and earn the Bills’ starting cornerback job for the 2015 season. Darby had a great rookie year with 61 solo tackles and 2 interceptions in 15 games. He was named the Pro Football Focus’ Defensive Rookie of the Year.
In the 2016 season, Darby had to work hard to overcome some unlucky injuries that limited him during the season. Darby racked up 60 solo tackles and 12 pass deflections in the 14 games he played.
In the 2017 offseason, Darby was surprisingly traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third-round pick. Darby had to readjust to a whole new environment right before the season started. After adjusting, Darby was hit with more difficulties, as he hurt his ankle in Week 1. Despite the setback, Darby worked hard and was able to come back by Week 11 for the Eagles’ game against the Dallas Cowboys.
For the rest of the regular season, Darby helped to anchor a strong defense and led Philadelphia into the playoffs. Throughout the playoffs, Darby’s leadership was felt on the field and could be seen by the defense’s performance. Philadelphia only gave up a total of 17 points in the playoffs entering the Super Bowl.
In Super Bowl LII, Darby started at cornerback for the Eagles and finished the game with 4 tackles and 2 passes defended. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 in one of the most exciting NFL games in recent memory.