Blog Entry

Baldwin to KC the head-scratcher of 1st round

Posted on: April 29, 2011 3:51 am
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'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.

Since: Apr 29, 2011
Posted on: April 29, 2011 11:27 am

Baldwin to KC the head-scratcher of 1st round

Also, someone needs to get Prisco grammar check. You never start a sentence with the word "but". But is a conjunction that hooks up words, clauses, and phrases. Prisco obviously missed that day in fifth grade when they showed the School House Rock video. As for Rob Rang, I expect more from you than calling this selection the biggest surprise in the draft. That's just a little bit of a stretch, don't you think?

Since: Apr 29, 2011
Posted on: April 29, 2011 11:18 am

Baldwin to KC the head-scratcher of 1st round

There were definitely bigger surprises in this draft than Jon Baldwin. The Titans taking Jake Locker, the Jags moving up for Gabbert, the Falcons trading 5 picks for Julio Jones, the Vikings selecting Christian Ponder, the Browns trading up for Phil Taylor, The Ravens taking a pass on their pick after their trade with the Bears was botched, and the Seahawks taking an offensive tackle that most "experts" had tabbed to be selected between the late second to mid third round. All of these things were much bigger surprises than the Chiefs taking the third best receiver in the draft.

CBS is the only website I've seen that's actually down on the move. Pete Prisco from CBS gave the pick a C, saying "He is a big-time player, but there are questions about his attitude. Some teams hated him. But he does fill a need". Baldwin fell at 26, just one spot below where SI's Don Banks had mocked him to go to Atlanta. SI's Peter King says that, "Jonathan Baldwin is the kind of playmaker that's in short supply in Kansas City at wide receiver". Fox Sports gave the pick a B+ saying, "The Chiefs selected perhaps one of the most underrated wide receivers available for this draft in Jon Baldwin". Walter Football even took it one step further saying, "Jonathan Baldwin is really talented, and the Chiefs are getting a much-needed secondary weapon for Matt Cassel. This pick alone would be a B, but I like that the Chiefs moved down and picked up an extra third. (Pick Grade: A).

Seems like Pete Prisco and CBS are the only people that don't like the move. To me, it means that they REALLY know a lot more about this kid and the Chiefs than everyone else mentioned above... or they really don't have a clue about what they're talking about. They're making a snap judgement without having research or fact to support them. You make the call. I for one, think this article is full of crap!


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or