As the only Big East player taken in the First Round of the NFL Draft, Jon Baldwin allowed the Big East to save some face. Not much, but some. As befits the present state of the conference, it should be expected that a lot of players will be taken from here on out. The players reflect the league. Not particularly strong at the top, but solid and mediocre all around. “Big East football. ACC-esque parity with fewer calories.”
So congrats to Jon Baldwin, the third Pitt Panther drafted in the 1st round in the last 5 years. He is Pitt’s 20th 1st round pick in the last 31 years. Baldwin was home with family when the call came.
“I felt blessed,” Baldwin said of his reaction upon receiving the telephone call from Chiefs coach Todd Haley. “I have been working toward this my whole life, and now I get the opportunity.”
After speaking at length to Haley, Baldwin said he turned to his father, Jeff, for a hug.
“He said, ‘Congratulations. This is something you have worked hard for. Now, go do what you do,’ ” Baldwin said.
The first thing…
Address every documented mistake you have made and prove you aren’t a bad seed.
The Chiefs have Jonathan Baldwin’s word, and maybe that’s enough. He said he’s a “good person,” and maybe he is. But for now, he is their newest draft pick — and, unlike last year, a player without a spotless background.
Maybe it’s nothing. That’s what Baldwin said late Thursday, anyway.
“I won’t be a problem,” said Baldwin, a wide receiver from the University of Pittsburgh. “I sat down with all the coaching staff and told them the kind of person I am. After they talked to me for about five minutes, they understood.”
Baldwin was charged in May 2009 with misdemeanor indecent assault, summary harassment and summary disorderly conduct after an alleged incident involving a female student on a bus. The charges were later dropped. More recently, Baldwin called out his quarterback at Pittsburgh and criticized his coaches earlier this year.
The outburst after Coach Wannstedt was fired and he said he was heading to the NFL seemed to be the bigger character issue. At least in terms of immediate reactions to how the pick was viewed.
Chiefs fans seem to be happy with the pick. Actually, increasingly excited might be a better way of putting it. Having Baldwin line-up on the other side of Dwayne Bowe gives the Chiefs a much more dynamic passing game — and filled one of their needs.
The Chiefs attacked their biggest positional need with their first-round pick, drafting University of Pittsburgh wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin.
The 6-foot-5, 228-pound Baldwin played three seasons at Pitt. He had a big sophomore season, catching 57 passes for 1,111 yards and eight touchdowns before slumping to 53 catches, 822 yards and five TDs as a junior last season.
“He had a big sophomore year,” Chiefs coach Todd Haley said. “(Pittsburgh) struggled in general this past year, which always hurts a receiver. Maybe he fell off the radar a little bit, so to speak.
“I’m excited to see what Jonathan Baldwin will become. He’s an exceptional talent.”
Congrats to Baldwin, and hopefully there will be a season this fall.