2011 NFL Draft: Jon Baldwin To Chiefs Media Recap

I stress that 'media recap' means a roundup of information available shortly after the conclusion of the NFL Draft. There's sure to be more (lots more) but here's a sampling of what was out there right away.

Anyway, Baldwin is the fourth Panther in the past eight years to be a first-round pick.

To start, the Chiefs got Baldwin after a bit of wheelin' and dealin'. They traded picks with the Cleveland Browns and then got, well, a bit of luck:

Chaos reigned at Chiefs headquarters when Baltimore, holding the 26th pick, did not announce a decision until the clock had moved to Kansas City. After several confusing minutes, commissioner Roger Goodell announced the Chiefs had taken Baldwin.

It boggles the mind how a team can plan for a draft for months, have 25 picks in front of them to decide the direction it's going, then have several minutes to make a pick - and still, you know, NOT MAKE THE PICK. I was in awe when the Vikings did it several years ago and am even more so now that it's happened again. Worked out for the Chiefs, though, as they moved up one slot.

So what are others saying about that selection?

Well, ProFootballTalk.com thought it was a surprise ... even though they actually needed a receiver:

Kansas City’s selection is a surprising one, but they need to upgrade their receivers.  Baldwin took some criticism for his hands in college and his character, but his talent to get jump balls in the red zone is undeniable.

Baldwin is a potential future No. 1 receiver, perhaps the only one left in this draft.   He’s a similar style player to Dwayne Bowe.

One theme seems to be about getting Dwayne Bowe some help:

The Kansas City Chiefs returned to the playoffs in 2010 thanks in large part to the efforts of wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. Bowe scored 15 touchdowns and had 72 receptions for 1,162 yards. However, Kansas City's offense couldn't take the next step because the rest of their wide receivers other than Bowe were horrible. To give Bowe some help, the Chiefs used their first pick on Jon Baldwin, and the former Pitt Panther could easily end up as an opening day starter.

Horrible? Got that right. After Bowe was Chris Chambers (22 catches for 213 yards and one touchdown).

Ouch.

So he could be Bowe's 'bookend' receiver.

Anyway, you've also got the fact that Baldwin is headed to a place that's apretty good fit. As I wrote over at SB Nation Pittsburgh, playing with Bowe will help ease some of the pressures of being a first-round pick. He can help, but won't need to carry the whole load himself.

He's also got a veteran quarterback in Matt Cassel. SB Nation blog Arrowhead Pride thinks Cassel will obviously benefit:

The Chiefs got QB Matt Cassel the help he needed. The Chiefs are well aware that this team can only go as far as Cassel can take them. That's true with the majority of teams and their quarterbacks in the NFL. On the surface, I like the pick because the Chiefs are doing what they can to make sure Cassel succeeds. This gives him a big target with good hands. 
Then, to a lesser degree, there's the fact that Chiefs' head coach Todd Haley was able to turn around Bowe, who apparently has had some attitude issues of own:
Baldwin has all the physical tools, except for elite speed, an NFLteam could want in a receiver. He also brings some serious baggage. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound wideout has some room to grow personally as well as professionally. Head coach Todd Haley was successful in getting the most from Dwayne Bowe, who went from the coach's doghouse to the league penthouse in one year after buying into his leader's program. Perhaps Haley will have similar success here.

Eh, I don't know. Serious baggage? That seems a bit extreme. Look, we know that Baldwin's not perfect. We know how he viewed quarterback, Tino Sunseri. But it's not as if Baldwin has had issues that you absolutely can't get over. Most of the stuff we've all heard about is related to immaturity. And how many 21-year olds do we know that have had immaturity issues?

All in all, I think Chiefs fans should be pretty happy with this pick.

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