When the Kansas City Chiefs selected Pitt receiver Jonathan Baldwin with the 26th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, they were hoping he would quickly become a key part of their offense and a dangerous red zone weapon. Along with Dwayne Bowe, they hoped the two would form one of the top receiving tandems in football. Baldwin’s rookie season fell far short of these expectations, however.
Baldwin didn’t exactly start out on the right foot with the Chiefs. A wrist injury resulting from a preseason locker room fight with then teammate Thomas Jones delayed his regular season debut until week 7. By that time Steve Breaston had a firm grasp on the No. 2 receiver spot, and Baldwin had a tough time finding a consistent role in the offense the rest of the season. Baldwin ended the year with 21 catches for 254 yards and only one touchdown.
Baldwin’s rookie performance has many Chiefs fans frustrated with Baldwin as a first round pick. These frustrations will be short lived though; all indications from training camp point to a much improved and matured player. He may not put up monster numbers Sunday when the Chiefs face a very good Falcons secondary, but look for him to settle into the #2 receiver role over the course of the season. The question of “will he be any good?” will soon give way to “how good will he be?” If Baldwin puts it all together, he could be great.
Photo Credits: KOMU.com