Each year plenty of draft picks are panned by us in the draft analysis business and wind up proving (surprise, surprise) that NFL teams know more about their prospects than we do.
Perhaps that will be the case with Kansas City's selection of former Pitt Panther wideout Jon Baldwin with the No. 26 overall selection.
But I believe Baldwin was the most surprising selection of the first round.
It isn't just that I'm lower on Baldwin that most. I certainly acknowledge his unique combination of size, speed, leaping ability and body control. He proved to be a big play threat while with the Panthers and is entering an ideal situation with the Chiefs due to the fact that they already have a legitimate No. 1 target in Dwayne Bowe to take the pressure off of the rookie.
However, despite the fact that the 6-4 (3/8), 228 pound Baldwin has the size to intimidate, he isn't a particularly physical receiver. In fact, when defenders pressed him at the line of scrimmage, he struggled.
It is also important to note that this is the same Baldwin who questioned former Pitt head coach Dave Wannestadt and his offensive staff when he told NFLDraftScout.com's Chris Steuber of his intention to leave the Panthers early for the NFL. (Baldwin later recanted, before re-announcing the decision.)
Given the rarity that Scott Pioli invested a first round pick in a wide receiver previously and these questions about Baldwin's physicality and maturity, I was stunned by the selection -- especially considering the number of highly touted offensive and defensive linemen still available. These positions, of course, were thought to be Kansas City's focus heading up to the draft.
Pioli's track record speaks for itself and Baldwin is a terrifically gifted player. Had you asked me prior to the draft to pinpoint one of the least likely pairings in the first round, however, I just might have picked this combination.