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Jonathan Baldwin Struggling Early With Kansas City Chiefs

Jon Baldwin should be a nice big target for years to come in KC (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jon Baldwin should be a nice big target for years to come in KC (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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I almost feel like this post should come with the obligatory "Too Soon" comment, but I think anyone reading this (with half a brain) would realize that struggles from an NFL First-Rounder a week or so into training camp mean little, anyway. Still, there's quite a bit of talk about former Pitt receiver Jonathan Baldwin struggling so far with the Kansas City Chiefs in camp and it's worth mentioning.

For starters, Jon Baldwin, well, isn't one. In fact, according to a recent Chiefs' depth chart released last week, he's third-string.

Pro Football Talk mentions that the Chiefs would love for him to be higher up the food chain, but he's just not there yet for a few reasons:

The Chiefs would love for Baldwin to step into a sizable role right away, but he’s off to a sluggish start.  The Pitt product has reportedly struggled to get off the line of scrimmage because he’s getting jammed.  He’s also dealt with a hamstring injury, and is currently listed as a third-team receiver, no higher than fifth on the depth chart.  Baldwin says he’s "100%" now.

Speaking of being jammed at the line, here's another observation that concurs:

Observed Nick Wright of 610 Kansas City, "When he's been jammed, I haven't seen him catch one." Wright concedes that Baldwin has impressed when faced with off coverage, but defensive coordinators aren't dumb enough to let him get a running start.

Getting off the line? Injuries? What's all this talk about football, anyway? Time for important issues...

Baldwin is doing his part as a rookie:

Earlier this week, Baldwin said he was ready for this challenge.

"Every day they pick out a few rookies who have to sing," Baldwin said. "So I think today is my day.

"I’ve got a couple of hours to figure out what I’m going to sing."

Okay, no seriously, football...

For some reason, Baldwin and the words "possession receiver" are being used in the same sentence:

"The indicators are good," Haley said. "Speed is not an issue. I think it’s easy to just say he’s a big possession guy. Until we get going and pads are on and these guys get their legs under them, I don’t know that we’ll see really all that’s there."

I've got to think that if Baldwin was strictly a position guy, there'd be a lot of disappointed fans in KC. But that's not what he is, in my opinion. He's a huge target capable of being a deep threat, catching short passes and doing something with (despite the many ill advised screen plays that Pitt ran), and should win jump balls if the ball's thrown accurately his way.

Like I said, no reason to panic. Baldwin is just getting back from an injury as mentioned earlier, and I think he'll be just fine. The attitude is probably the biggest thing with him and from everything I've read so far, it sounds like he's doing fine in that department.

And about that injury - seems like it is/was a minor one:

Early this morning, during the walk through Jon Baldwin was seen with his right knee taped up.  I really didn’t think much of it (especially when he made two leaping catches with the wrap on). He did not participate in the last session…of course neither did any of the other first string WR’s.  Twitter was going crazy over whether or not he was hurt and how bad was it.  Like I reported earlier, I drove by him as he was leaving the sports complex and he was walking on the sidewalk.  Just as I was driving by, some of his teammates driving a black Jag picked him up.  There was not a noticeable limp when he was walking then.  Then, during the practice at 3:30, he walked down to the practice field (without a limp) with his shoulder pads on and his knee still wrapped up.  It looked as if he was going to practice.  During warm up sprints he stayed on the sideline and during the indy drills he did not participate. After all the indy drills, the team took their pads off and went helmets only. During the rest of practice, Baldwin was seen in the training area with Moeaki (as seen below). I did speak with a very credible source within the organization and they said that the injury is minor and to not worry too much about it.