The Kansas City Chiefs didn't draft at No. 21 like many of us thought they would. Instead, they traded back six spots with the Cleveland Browns picking up an extra third round pick in the process. The Baltimore Ravens strangely passed on their pick at No. 26 at which point the Chiefs stepped in and made their selection.
The Chiefs first round draft pick: Pittsburgh WR Jonathan Baldwin. (Or is it Jon Baldwin? We need to figure out which name he goes by.)
Here are my five initial thoughts on the pick. We'll be going in-depth on all of these topics over the next few days. Weigh in with where you agree, and where I'm wrong.
Yes, this pick is a surprise. I knew the Chiefs needed a receiver and I thought they could go with one like WR Leonard Hankerson or WR Torrey Smith in the first round. Baldwin wasn't really on my radar in this draft. He got wiped away by the giant brush of "character concerns". The Chiefs focused on character last year so we assumed that they would pick only the cleanest prospects this year. I'm surprised by this pick -- pleasantly surprised. But still surprised.
Baldwin's knock is "character concerns". We're not really sure what the character concerns are and I don't know the guy so I can't give you first-hand information. He was arrested in May of 2009 (the charges were later dropped) and scouting reports cite "work ethic concerns". We'll find out what that means. Meanwhile, this quote from my interview with Chiefs GM Scott Pioli last month should be something to keep in mind: "Just because a guy had issues doesn't mean he doesn't have a chance to be a Chief." In fact, read this entire story for a little more on Pioli and how he views character.
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.
Physically, Baldwin is the real deal. I mean...6'4', 228 pounds. Runs in the 4.4 40-yard dash range. Two-time first team All-Big East. He has major skills. He has solid hands, can run fast and is big enough to go over the middle. His route running can be improved, according to various scouting reports, but if you're building a receiver, he's looking similar to Baldwin.
This makes me wonder about WR Dwayne Bowe. I mean, this makes me wonder a lot. Baldwin's potential is that of a number one receiver. Bowe is entering the final year of his contract. We know Todd Haley and Bowe had their differences early on in their relationship. I'm really starting to wonder what this means for Bowe. Heck, Baldwin even wears the same jersey number as Bowe. In the short-term, maybe this will motivate Bowe even more, which the Chiefs surely wouldn't mind.