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Tribal Warfare
04-29-2011, 06:24 AM
Chiefs address their biggest need (http://www.kansascity.com/2011/04/28/2834596/chiefs-draft-jonathan-baldwin.html)
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

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.”

The pick came with the 26th overall choice. The Chiefs sent their original first-round pick, 21st overall, to Cleveland. In return, they got the Browns’ first-round pick, 27th overall, and their third-round choice, 70th overall.

Cleveland chose a defensive tackle, Phil Taylor from Baylor. The Chiefs chose Baldwin after the Baltimore Ravens, who had the 26th pick, let the clock run out ahead of the Chiefs.

“We feel we got really strong value (in the trade with Cleveland),” general manager Scott Pioli said. “Having that extra third allows you to do a lot of different things. That may be two players in the third round. That maybe moving up in the second round, that may mean moving up from one of those picks in the third round.

“The more currency you have, the more opportunity you create for yourself.”

Asked what his strengths are, Baldwin said, “Attacking the football, catching the football with my hands, (getting) down the field, (making) big plays, using my bigger body to box out smaller defensive backs.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Baldwin, who visited with the Chiefs in Kansas City before the draft. “I’m a very hard worker. I bring big-play ability to the Chiefs. I’ll give it everything I have, and I’ll do everything the Chiefs ask me to do.”

Haley said Baldwin was in a pool of players the Chiefs were considering with the 21st pick before they dealt the choice to Cleveland.

“We get to that spot and there were a number of players that we were real excited about taking at that point,” Haley said. “And then the phone started to buzz a little bit.”

The Chiefs passed on, among other players, offensive lineman Gabe Carimi of Wisconsin, who could play either tackle or guard.

Obviously, they believed wide receiver was a bigger need. At that position, they have Dwayne Bowe, who had a breakout season last year and reached the Pro Bowl.

But they searched all of last season for a second wide receiver without success, going from veteran Chris Chambers to rookie Verran Tucker to veteran Kevin Curtis.

“That’s a great thing to have,” Baldwin said of a possible pairing with Bowe. “I don’t know too much about him. I know he was a great receiver last year, went to the Pro Bowl. When I get in there, I’ll learn as much I can about him and soak in as much as I can from him.”

Like Baldwin, Bowe is big for a receiver, at 6-2 and 221 pounds.

“He’s bigger than Dwayne,” Haley said of Baldwin. “They’re both big, strong guys that can run.

“Receivers in this league has kind of been transformed through the years to now. We’re seeing some guys of exceptional size, not what you’d generally picture a receiver as being a handful of years ago.”

factortobe
04-29-2011, 07:02 AM
:thumb: a great start to the draft a phenomenal WR and another early draft pick great to be a CHIEFS fan!!!

donkhater
04-29-2011, 07:12 AM
Didn't Haley set Bowe up to work with Fitzgerald in the offseason last year? Seems natural to have Baldwin join his teammate and fellow Pitt alum to learn the ropes.