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Friday, April 29, 2011
Pitt's Jon Baldwin a first-rounder

By Brian Bennett

In the end, the Big East did have a first-round NFL Draft pick after all, as Pittsburgh receiver Jonathan Baldwin went No. 26 to Kansas City.

Makes perfect sense to me, as I always thought Baldwin was a first-round talent and arguably the most gifted athlete in the league last season. You just don't find 6-foot-5 receivers who can run and jump the way he can very often. The knock on Baldwin had been his maturity and consistency.

But the Chiefs needed another receiver to pair with Dwayne Bowe, and Baldwin will have a great chance to be that guy for quarterback Matt Cassel.

“I won’t be a problem,” Baldwin told the Kansas City Star on Thursday night. “I sat down with all the coaching staff and told them the kind of person I am. After they talked to me for about five minutes, they understood.”

“We are very comfortable making him a Kansas City Chief,” coach Todd Haley told the paper. “(Character) is something that’s always going to be important to us, and we obviously believe Jonathan Baldwin has Kansas City Chief character, or he wouldn’t be part of this team now.”

Who's next from the league? Mel Kiper says it will be another Pitt player, Jabaal Sheard, in this second-round mock.