Friday, April 29, 2011
Chiefs Select Jonathan Baldwin
As predicted, Kansas City ended up trading down in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft to select Pittsburg WR Jonathan Baldwin. Kansas City passed on some talented defensive players and a few offensive lineman to get Baldwin, which has led to some debate as to whether or not this was the right move.
Whether you agree with grabing Baldwin or not, Kansas City's first round strategy was sound. The Chiefs likely sold themselves on getting Baldwin and giving their wide receiving corps a much needed boost, and knew he would be available later on in the first round. The Chiefs' trade not only gives them help at WR, but also allows them to address depth issues on the offensive line with an extra third round pick. I would be surprised if the pick Kansas City aquired from the Browns isn't used on a guard, which could be a valuable addition in the third round. Yes, there were a lot of other routes the Chiefs could have taken, and Baldwin has been labled one of the biggest "boom or bust" candidates in the draft, but credit Scott Pioli with finding the player he wanted and getting an extra third round pick.
As for Baldwin, he appears to have the tools to be a quality NFL receiver. He has great size and should provide Matt Cassel with another red zone target. Drafting a wide receiver in the first round is always a huge gamble, and teams have been able to find outstanding NFL wideouts in the second round in previous drafts.
The Chiefs could have added much-needed help to its defensive front seven or offensive line, but Pioli addressed a need, and was smart to trade down and acquire an extra third round pick. Look for Kansas City to add a guard with its upcomming picks and try to find a sleeper it can develop at outside linebacker.