If you've been following the Kansas City Chiefs training camp reports, you've probably noticed one name that keeps popping up on a daily basis. That would be Jonathan Baldwin, who has put on one show after another against teammates and now the Arizona Cardinals alike.
It's been easy to see the talent of this young man since he was at PIttsburgh. The question is now whether he can translate all of his skills onto the field come Sunday's.
Negative: Again, it needs to be proved that Baldwin can get the job done against the elite on Sunday afternoons. After missing the first five games of his rookie season due to a broken thumb suffered in a fight with Thomas Jones, Baldwin flashed promise but wasn't dominant by any stretch.
The 22-year-old failed to register even a single 100-yard receiving day, with the closest being on Monday night when he lit up the San Diego Chargers for 82 yards on five catches and a touchdown (his only of the season). At the end of 2011, Baldwin's totals were 21 receptions for 283 yards. Both
Positive: Baldwin has all the physical tools to become a very good receiver. The Aliquippa, PA native is massive at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, and yet possesses blazing speed. He's a match-up problem for just about any defensive back and with his long arms, can extend high for any pass that would normally be out-of-reach.
The other thing to consider is his character. Many people worried that Baldwin had character concerns coming out of college, but none have been seen since the Chiefs drafted him. The second-year man hasn't had any brush with the law and in fact, helped in Joplin, MO after the tornado last year.
While he was injured in a fight, most accounts say he wasn't the man to start it. Also, judging from his camp thus far he seems to have taken the offseason very seriously.
My Take: Baldwin will take a sizable step and become noticed in NFL circles as an up-and-comer.
It's hard to say that Baldwin will explode onto the scene and have 1,000 yards with 12 touchdowns for a few reasons. Despite the holdout, Dwayne Bowe is still the number one receiver on Kansas City.
Baldwin will have to fight for Matt Cassel's attention thanks to a bevy of other pass-catching weapons such as Steve Breaston, Tony Moeaki, Dexter McCluster and Kevin Boss. Add in the Chiefs propensity to run the ball with Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis, and you can see the ball will be spread around quite a bit.
That said, I believe Baldwin will go for around 700 yards and six touchdowns on about 50 catches. All signs point to Baldwin becoming great, but that doesn't happen overnight. Instead, the youngster will take the next rung on the ladder, becoming a very legitimate threat as a No. 2 receiver.