Wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin was the 26th overall pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2011 National Football League draft and was expected to make an immediate impact. At 6’4″, 228 pounds, Baldwin provided a big target for quarterback Matt Cassel and despite some past legal transgressions while attending the University of Pittsburgh, the Chiefs saw a big play threat who could take some of the receiving load off of Dwayne Bowe. Simply put, that just hasn’t happened so far.
Baldwin’s most memorable play to date was a 60 yard catch against the Denver Broncos last season that didn’t even count because of a penalty. Besides that, he is mostly known for getting in a locker room fight with former Chiefs running back Thomas Jones and missing the beginning of his rookie season. He was completely shut out in week 1, but he managed to notch 3 catches for 62 yards last week after a report by The Kansas City Star that Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll was planning to use Baldwin more against the Buffalo Bills. Regardless, in his career Baldwin has recorded just 24 catches for 316 yards and 1 touchdown. The Chiefs were unwilling to commit to a long-term contract for Bowe over the summer because they were so high on Baldwin’s chances to become a Pro Bowl caliber player, but he has given them little reassurance so far this season.
This weekend’s matchup against the New Orleans Saints is an opportunity for Baldwin to have a breakout game. The Saints pass defense is currently ranked 26th in the league in yards allowed, and cornerback Jabari Greer has been banged up with a sports hernia. Despite his poor game last week, the Saints will still focus on stopping Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs running attack, which could open up plenty of deep play-action passes. Look for Baldwin to have some opportunities to get into the end zone on Sunday.