If you were surprised when Scott Pioli took a few chances in the draft with a few players that are bringing character concerns to Kansas City, you’re not alone. Jeffri Chadiha takes a look at the best and worst marriages coming out of this year’s draft, with the Chiefs first round pick among the five that don’t look promising.
3. Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Kansas City: It’s not surprising that the Chiefs took a wide receiver with their first-round pick, especially given the lack of talent to complement Pro Bowler Dwayne Bowe. The eye-opening part is that Baldwin was their man. At 6-foot-5 and nearly 230 pounds, he has speed, good hands and exceptional leaping ability.
What he also has are a few documented comments in college that suggest he could be the latest diva receiver to enter the league. The upside here is that Chiefs head coach Todd Haley knows a thing or two about developing receivers with oversized egos (like Bowe). The question is whether Baldwin is the kind of player who can handle Haley’s hard-line tactics and still blossom to his fullest potential in the end.
Pioli is the one that ultimately made the call to pull the trigger on Baldwin, but it will be Haley’s responsibility to make this work. Sure, it’s the head coach’s job to make the pieces fit together, however if there is one position on the team that will strictly draw Haley’s undivided attention, it’s the wide receivers.
The success of Dwayne Bowe last season when he looked like he was on a downward spiral right out of Kansas City is a great example of how Baldwin and Haley can make things work. For all the talk about Baldwin being a diva and throwing his coaches/quarterback under the bus at Pitt, it’s hard to imagine he will come into the NFL as a rookie and try to pull off his version of “The Bowe Show”.
Only helping matter sit that the Chiefs are still a run-first team. The star is and will continue to be Jamaal Charles. When Matt Cassel does go to the air, Bowe will be the No. 1 option. Baldwin isn’t running on the field and expected to be the star, which should help keep his head in check.