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Dave Wannstedt Predicts Chiefs Vets Will Like WR Jonathan Baldwin

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Less than 24 hours after the Kansas City Chiefs drafted WR Jonathan Baldwin in the 2011 NFL draft, the local media was busy talking to anyone and everyone from Pittsburgh to get a better idea of KC's new draft pick. One of those Pittsburgh folks was Dave Wannstedt.

Nick Wright of 610 Sports talked to Wannstedt, former Pitt head coach, on Friday afternoon. Lots of interesting things and it's nice to hear someone say Baldwin will be a great teammate, will work hard and won't be a problem. Those criticizing the Chiefs draft (like Trent Dilfer) are predicting the opposite with Baldwin. 

I wanted to highlight one thing Wannstedt said because this will be a big topic of discussion over the next few weeks -- how will Baldwin fit in with the Chiefs current locker room? Here's what Wannstedt said:

He's going to be real quiet when he gets there. I guarantee it. Once he get to know him, he has a great sense of humor. It's a dry sense of humor. But he's going to come in there, he's going to be very respectful, he's going to work hard and the veteran guys are going to like him as a teammate.
Remember that statement. Wannstedt's clearly biased because he recruited the guy and was his coach for three years but we aren't necessarily hearing a lot of positive notes about Baldwin's character. Wannstedt, one of the guys who know him best as a player, would disagree. 

Here's a summary of what Wannstedt had to say. You can listen to the audio at  Lots of interesting stuff. 
On his playing style...


Jonathan is a big play guy. Hes has great leaping ability and unbelievable body control in the air. He's a tough guy. He will catch the ball over the middle.
On why Baldwin wasn't that productive in college....
Our tailback was Dion Lewis, so for the listeners in KC, Dion Lewis was a running back who broke all of LeSean McCoy's records and LeSean broke all of Tony Dorsett's records. So Dion was a first team all-American coming in and he was the focus of our offense. And when you have a new quarterback, you have to be even more conservative. 
Is it fair to say he's a character concern after everything last year....
No I think it's very unfair. We were co-Big East champs lat year and the three years that Jonathan was a starter, the last time Pitt won that many games Dan Marino was here 30 years ago. The goal was to win the championship outright this year. We were struggling a little bit at the end, and we lost a few games. Some inexperience at some positions, and there was a little bit of frustration. I think people magnified that whole situation. But, Jonathan, he's never been a problem from a practice standpoint. You'll see when he gets there, this guy is a ball player. He is a big play guy and he can win games for you by himself.
On Baldwin compares to A.J. Green and Julio Jones...
He is as fast as those guys, he is probably stronger. The only thing that Jonathan lacks a little bit is just playing time. He wasn't redshirted, he played as a freshman. He's very coachable. His receiver coach was Scott Turner, Norv Turner's son so he's been exposed to the pro-thinking, and we ran a pro offense. I know -- I don't think, I know -- they're going to be very pleased with Jonathan Baldwin the person.
On what he needs to work on...
I think he just needs to clean up the preciseness of his routes and that just comes with experience. We ran Jonathan on reverses, bubble screens, quick screens but I think just the precision of playing against a press corner and being exact on your steps and your routes. That's what will be the point of emphasis.
On Baldwin's assets...
He's a winner. Everywhere the guy's been...if the ball hits the ground, it's going to affect him. He's a competitor. He's very competitive.
On who he compares to in the NFL...
Maybe the Vincent Jackson guy. I've been out of the league fora  few years but he would be one because of his size. That jumps out at me.