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2011 NFL Draft: WR Jonathan Baldwin And The Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs hold the 21st pick and there are all kinds of predictions in various 2011 NFL mock drafts on where they might go. Offensive line is an option, as is nose tackle and maybe even linebacker. One position that I think many have targeted is wide receiver.

Outside of WR Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs receiver department is pretty limited. The Chiefs know the importance of developing QB Matt Cassel, so I can see them adding some help for him there. 

One interesting question of the receivers entering the 2011 NFL draft is Pittsburgh WR Jonathan Baldwin. SB Nation's Brian Galliford tabs him under the risky department in his latest 2011 NFL draft story:

However, scouts question his effort play in and play out; he's been compared to Randy Moss in that regard. That effort has not only been questioned as a blocker - plenty of receivers have had that weakness overlooked in the past - but he's also been lackadaisical in going up to get poorly-thrown balls from time to time. Baldwin has had off-field issues in the form of assault, harassment and disorderly conduct charges that were dropped in 2009. We've worked our way back to a prospect's sense of entitlement; teams will have to determine whether Baldwin is miscast in that department, or whether he's talented enough to overcome that weakness, if they decide to draft him early.

One of the hardest NFL draft questions to answer -- how much does character really matter? By "character", I mean effort, working hard on his own to understand the offense and off-the-field questions. Those are things folks have questions about Baldwin and, if accurate, this probably isn't the Chiefs pick.

But you have to weigh the talent of a player against the perceived character questions. Is Baldwin worth it in that regard? The Chiefs still have a young team, and they have a few veteran leaders, but at this point I'm not sure the Chiefs are ready to make a move on someone like Baldwin.

The Randy Moss comparison is there (off the field, anyway) and some will point out that GM Scott Pioli was in New England when the Patriots brought in Moss. The difference is that the Patriots had a veteran team at the time that had been used to winning. The Chiefs just aren't there yet.

The Baldwin question will be one that comes up throughout the draft. If the Chiefs made a move on him, it would be a sign they feel they have a strong locker room.