Name: WR Jonathan Baldwin
Size: 6'4, 228 lbs
Expected Round: 1st-2nd
40 Time: 4.49s
Career Stats: Click Here.
Strengths: Good enough speed to be a threat on a deep pass. Strong enough to be a target across the middle. Produced in an offense without a quarterback- the QB just tossed the ball and hoped Baldwin could adjust and make the catch. As a result, he has a fantastic catch radius. Pitt is a run-first offense, so he's a solid run blocker. Plays well against top talent. Large size will get him YAC as arm tackles aren't successful.
Weaknesses: He never ran crisp routes because of his QB so he'll have to learn how to run plays in a timed offense. Not really quick change of direction receiver so he could leave some yards on the field- long strider who wastes steps. Sometimes a body catcher in traffic. Inconsistent with his approach to the football- he attacks aggressively sometimes, he waits for the ball to hit his body other times, and the rest were bad throws by the quarterback. He'll have to be more consistent to succeed in the NFL. Doesn't really have a second gear.
Why and Why Not the Patriots after the jump, and my final verdict!
Why the Patriots?: If you want a player who fits the bill as a Patriots receiver, Baldwin's a pretty solid fit. Belichick only drafts raw route runners for some reason (maybe he hopes that he can teach them how to run routes without any mental pollution- but seriously. Look at the knocks of all the past receivers drafted: Taylor Price, Brandon Tate, Julian Edelman, Matt Slater, Chad Jackson, Bethel Johnson; they're all raw route runners). He can be the big target that everyone wants, as well as the possession receiver. He's a willing blocker and he comes from football bloodlines.
Why Not the Patriots?: Baldwin has some questions surrounding his maturity and a player has to be mature enough to handle the rigor of the Patriots' offense since he won't be able to get by on talent alone. He's a project player (like the other receivers on the roster) and there's a question of how many receivers can be groomed at one time. He needs to be coached up in order to succeed in the NFL. He also seems to have a "it's not my fault if I'm doing my job" me-first attitude and blamed his coaches and quarterback for his decrease in production. May be true, but he aired that information which doesn't fly. Add in the fact that WR would be a luxury position, and he's a no-pick.
Verdict: I think Baldwin is ignored just based on his comments to the press- which were made right before the team's bowl game. I wouldn't consider him before pick #60 and, despite his talent, I'd trade away the pick to some team who wants Baldwin before I'd take him. He seems like a solid prospect, but he'll have a Dez Bryant like attitude in the NFL. Solid talent, not all together in the head.