Well, after all the criticism, all the talk about no Pitt players going in the first round, it had to work out this way, right?
In the end, Pitt wide receiver Jon Baldwin continued Pitt's tradition of churning out first-round draft picks. I wrote over at SB Nation Pittsburgh that Baldwin wasn't chosen obviously for his 2010 season at Pitt, but for his prototypical body for an NFL wideout. Just goes to show you how highly regarded that 6'4" frame was. Last year, he caught fewer balls, had about 300 yards less receiving and caught three fewer touchdowns than in his 2009 breakout season.
Ah, what potential can do.
Actually, it's not totally fair to say Baldwin has only potential. We've all seen flashes of the great receiver he can be. He's a legitimate deep ball threat and it's likely that his numbers would be more impressive if more of those deep ball attempts thrown from Tino Sunseri and Bill Stull were a little more accurate.
Of course, it's not fair to throw all the blame on both of those guys - I've written repeatedly that both are/were capable quarterbacks. My biggest knock on Baldwin has always been dropping catchable balls.
So how will Baldwin do in the NFL? Man, it's anybody's guess. I'm not going to throw out the standard cliched answer that he'll have a nice, but unspectacular career. It really depends on if he can get better as a receiver, obviously. If so, I do think he could be a very good wideout in the pros. I'm not ready to take his attitude issues and project that he's simply not going to make it in the NFL. He's got far too much talent that can't simply be neglected.
I'll say this - I think the chances are greater that he becomes a consistent 1,000 yard receiver than he becomes a bust.
More on Baldwin and reaction a bit later.