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Doug Baldwin closes in on an unprecedented rookie season

Doug Baldwin, Ben Obomanu, Roderick Hood AP

When Sunday’s season finale is over, Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin will have done something no player has done since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger: Led his team in receiving yards, as an undrafted rookie.

Baldwin has 48 catches for 748 yards this season, 264 more yards than the Seahawks’ No. 2 receiver, Sidney Rice. So there’s little doubt that he’ll be the Seahawks’ leader for the season. That’s quite an accomplishment for an undrafted player, but just as impressive as Baldwin’s achievement is his attitude: He’s not celebrating individual achievements.

It’s kind of a disappointing year for me just because of the fact that we’re not in the playoffs when we had an opportunity to be in the playoffs,” Baldwin told the Associated Press.

Baldwin’s production as a rookie raises an obvious question: How did NFL scouts miss on this guy in the 2011 NFL draft? It’s not like he was playing at some obscure college; he was Andrew Luck’s favorite receiver at Stanford in 2010.

Whatever the reasons that Baldwin was undrafted and still available for the Seahawks to sign for training camp, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is glad.

“From the first couple days he was on the practice field to the preseason to now going into Game 16, he’s a rock solid part of this team and we’re counting on him,” Carroll said.

Baldwin has been one of this season’s best stories.

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31 Responses to “Doug Baldwin closes in on an unprecedented rookie season”
  1. tomsd1 says: Dec 31, 2011 7:39 AM

    I well remember him from his Stanford days. Sometimes it’s amazing what the NFL scouts cannot measure. :)

  2. worldwidebleater says: Dec 31, 2011 7:57 AM

    Pete Carroll found him because of the painful memeories of getting his rump pounded by Stanford in the Coliseum in ’09.

  3. 4t9er says: Dec 31, 2011 8:00 AM

    The Seahawks showed Baldwin more interest in him than the 49ers and I’m sure they’re regretting drafting Ronald Johnson from USC (He was released).

  4. jimmysee says: Dec 31, 2011 8:02 AM

    Sometimes it is easy to forget this is a team sport. Andrew Luck will not have success at the next level without someone talented to throw to.

    To further illustrate — the Bears have never added receivers to take advantage of their investment in Jay Cutler; and in the last off-season, they even got rid of their best receiving tight end!

    That’s foolish, too.

  5. whatswiththehate says: Dec 31, 2011 8:09 AM

    “It’s not like he was playing at some obscure college; he was Andrew Luck’s favorite receiver at Stanford in 2010.”

    That because all of his accomplishments were given to Andrew Luck to pad his resume…SMDH

    This “Andrew Luck” lovefest with our media seems like it’s going to be worst thant the Tim Tebow nonsense.

  6. brasho says: Dec 31, 2011 8:29 AM

    Let me explain it to you fellas that only watch Sportscenter highlights. Doug Baldwin led Stanford wide receivers in receiving last season…however, Stanford is known much more for their running game, tight ends, and play action passing than Luck’s ability to spray it all over the field. Also, Baldwin only earned playing time when leading receivers Chris Owusu and Ryan Whalen were injured. Plus add to the fact that Baldwin isn’t exactly a good-sized receiver… and it’s easy to see why scouts missed on him.

  7. mikgaes says: Dec 31, 2011 8:31 AM

    As a Bills fan, I had to ask “who” Doug Baldwin was. Good for him.

  8. hitit49 says: Dec 31, 2011 8:42 AM

    748 yds for how many games? Meh who else was there to throw to

  9. skinsrock says: Dec 31, 2011 8:43 AM

    Who the F*** is Doug Baldwin?

  10. glynners says: Dec 31, 2011 8:44 AM

    Perhaps the scouts so locked in on Luck being great that they assumed the WRs production was all down to the QB.

  11. pixelito says: Dec 31, 2011 8:47 AM

    He’ll be the first rookie to lead his team in receiving and never be heard from again.

  12. nflfollower says: Dec 31, 2011 8:58 AM

    I’m surprised harbaugh didn’t pick him up as an undrafted. Had he known more about braylon edwards, I’m sure he would have. And whatever happened to Derek Anderson and Edwards… Has any other combo caught lightning in a bottle for one year then both had their careers fall apart?

  13. gafraidh says: Dec 31, 2011 9:07 AM

    Even Harbaugh took a pass on him.

  14. chitownjeff says: Dec 31, 2011 11:01 AM

    Ahh a modern day version of Randy Vataha..

  15. ripcityhawkhead says: Dec 31, 2011 11:20 AM

    3 best slot wr’s in football right now went undrafted, Welker, Cruz, Baldwin.

    I think it’s fair to say the NFL scouts missed on Richard Sherman too. A 6-3 cb who is top 10 in passes defensed with 3ints who started the season as a backup. Idk how a pro bowl caliber cb is still available in the 5th round. I guess people thought there were no other talented players on Stanford but Luck last year.

  16. ticalcaldwell says: Dec 31, 2011 11:33 AM

    AJ Green has set the standard for all rookie receivers……….

  17. samoanjungle says: Dec 31, 2011 11:36 AM

    What’s up with the “Who is Doug Baldwin” posts? This has been a big story all year! There IS football being played outside your own team – pay attention!

    I’m guessing a few things worked against him – he is small (the NFL loves those big receivers nowadays) he only had 1 good year, and all of the credit went to Luck.

    If Harbaugh knew what he had he would have drafted him in the first or second round and just think how good the 49ers would be!

  18. CKL says: Dec 31, 2011 11:42 AM

    Nice story. I always like reading these types of articles.

  19. thevalsalvamanouvre says: Dec 31, 2011 12:04 PM

    “AJ Green has set the standard for all rookie receivers……….”

    He was also the 4th overall pick in the draft, so yeah. Not sure where you’re going with this.

  20. crazybeardedjack says: Dec 31, 2011 12:09 PM

    After reading this site and listening to most NFL “experts” I assumed Andrew Luck was the only player on Stanford’s squad and completed passes to himself. I learned something new today.

  21. jdandcoke says: Dec 31, 2011 12:27 PM

    no offense to baldwin, but cruz didnt play at all last year….technicaly he’s a second year player but in reality this is his rookie year. he was also undrafted….and his numbers totally blow baldwin’s away.

  22. frank booth says: Dec 31, 2011 12:54 PM

    ticalcaldwell says:
    Dec 31, 2011 11:33 AM
    AJ Green has set the standard for all rookie receivers……….
    ===================================
    AJ Green rookie stats through 15 games:
    63 receptions, 1031 yards, 7 touchdowns

    Randy Moss rookie stats:
    69 receptions, 1313 yards, 17 touchdowns

    If Green catches 7 passes for 282 yards and 10 touchdowns on Sunday, he will have set the standard for all rookie receivers for a season as well as the standard for any receiver for one game.

  23. prd3806 says: Dec 31, 2011 1:30 PM

    It always amazes me the number of people who try to make themselves feel good by putting down the achievements of others.

  24. dirtdawg55 says: Dec 31, 2011 1:40 PM

    It is a nice little season for Doug but lets put it in perspective. He is 40th in receiving yards. He is the 33rd best WR amongst that group. Twenty-five other teams have a leading receiver with more yards than him.

    And he is the leading receiver for the Seahawks. That’s like saying Hilary Clinton is attractive compared to a bunch of Orcs.

    In college he caught 96 passes for 1360 yards and 13 TDs. Over four seasons. He only had 70 other total touches during that time including KRs, PRs and runs. He fumbled 7 times – a pretty high rate. He is generously listed at 5’10″. In his draft year over 200 WRs were available in the draft and he was ranked around 70th. Little wonder he didn’t get picked.

    Heck, his own college coach took a pass on him.

    Does it all add up to bad scouting? Well, maybe. But maybe it just means the difference between average NFLers (let’s face it, Doug’s production is pretty average) is not that great and average NFL players are just as likely to be undrafted as they are to go in the third, fourth or fifth round. The difference between all f those guys is slim and that means some garbage will end up picked in the third round and a solid contributor will go undrafted.

  25. dirtdawg55 says: Dec 31, 2011 2:04 PM

    ticalcaldwell says:
    Dec 31, 2011 11:33 AM
    AJ Green has set the standard for all rookie receivers……….
    ===================================

    Really? Did you just start watching football this year or are you so used to watching the wretched Bengals that you have no idea what “sets the standard” means?

    Here are AJ Green’s rookie stats through 15 games:
    63 receptions, 1031 yards, 7 touchdowns

    A great season? Yes. The “standard”? Ah, not so much. But here are some other great seasons by rookie WRs that at least can be in the debate:

    Percy Harvin, 60 recpts, 790 yards, 6 TDs, 42 KRs, 1156 yards, 2 KR TDs, over 2,000 total yards

    Chris Collinsworth (you remember him, don’t you?), 67 recpts, 1009 yards, 8 TDs

    John Jefferson, 56 recpts, 1001 yards, 13 TDs

    Bob Hayes, 46 recpts, 1003 yards, 12 TDs, an unbelievable 21.8 yards per catch!

    Anquan Boldin, 101 recpts, 1377 yards, 8 TDs

    Randy Moss, 69 recpts, 1313 yards, 17 TDs.

    Billy Howton, 53 recpts, 1231 yards, 13 TDs. I think this is an even better season than Randy’s considering it happened in 1953!

    And then there was Bill Groman’s rookie season in the AFL, 72 recpts, 1473 yards, 12 TDs.

    AJ Green. Great rookie season? Yes. Setting the standard? No.

  26. prd3806 says: Dec 31, 2011 2:50 PM

    Let’s not forget that he has Tavaris Jackson passing to him and that there were only 8 teams worse than Seattle in passing.

  27. cliffordc05 says: Dec 31, 2011 2:58 PM

    Comparing Doug Baldwin to AJ Green is silly because of the difference in draft status. The better comparison is with Cruz. I don’t think Baldwin has Cruz’s speed but although this is Cruz’s first season playing, he has been with the Giants for two years (of practice). Baldwin’s achievements are all the more remarkable because of the shortened practice time and pre-season schedule. It is amazing that he was not cut and he must have made an immediate impression on the coaching staff.

  28. tomsd1 says: Dec 31, 2011 4:10 PM

    There is ALWAYS a place in football for a “possession” receiver – and yes, this recent Stanford grad is a lot like Randy Vataha – back in 1970 – catching passes from Jim Plunkett – as was a guy two years behind me in high school – who later played for the great Raider teams in the 70′s – TE Bob Moore – also an All-American while down on the farm.

    If you ever played QB – there are some guys you just love/have confidence in – guys who – run their routes and always are there – and then they hang onto the ball.

    Seems like Doug Baldin could continue to be one of them. And Harbaugh should be ashamed.

  29. EJ says: Dec 31, 2011 4:27 PM

    Everyone assumed that because Luck was the one throwing him passes, that it wasn’t Baldwin’s skills that made it work in Stanford. Has anyone ever thought that maybe, just maybe Luck is not as good as everyone portrays him to be? That maybe what surrounds him adds to his look?

    I’m not saying Luck isn’t a good Quarterback, because he probably is. What I am saying is that he isn’t as big as the hype. For his sake, he better hope that he can stand up to what everyone is projecting. I hope he is not another JaMarcus Russell, David Carr, Joey Harrington, Art Schlichter or Ryan Leaf.

    Baldwin will double his stats next season with one under his belt.

  30. backindasaddle says: Dec 31, 2011 6:14 PM

    Who???….Doug who???

    Ohh wait…. he’s on the Seahawks. No wonder I’ve never heard of him.

  31. tomsd1 says: Dec 31, 2011 7:46 PM

    Impossible to tell who will ultimately be great – but I can assure you that Luck will have a lot better attitude/work ethic than Jamarcus Bust Russell – or Ryan Attitude Leaf, or Art – can I please place a bet – Schichter. :)

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