Over his first two seasons with the Chiefs, wide receiver Jon Baldwin has failed to live up to the potential that made him a first-round pick for the team in 2011.
Baldwin has caught just 41 passes over his first two seasons and hopes that he would turn things around with a new coaching staff haven’t amounted to much at this point. Baldwin still looks the part of a pro receiver, but he hasn’t shown any more of an ability to turn his athletic ability into productive plays for the Chiefs offense. Baldwin had a terrible drop against the 49ers last week and coach Andy Reid made it clear that Baldwin has to stop doing that.
“We gave him the opportunity this week and you have to catch the football,” Reid said, via Bill Williamson of ESPN.com. “That’s how it works, and he knows that and I know that. When we give you an opportunity, you have to make sure you take advantage of the opportunity. … He needs to keep playing, and [when] given the opportunity, he needs to take advantage of it.”
There’s nothing particularly scathing about that assessment. It’s just an honest description of what wide receivers have to do if they want to continue working in the NFL, as is offensive coordinator Doug Pederson’s lament that “you don’t know what you will get out of” Baldwin when you throw the ball to him.
Kansas City doesn’t have so much talent at wide receiver that writing off Baldwin would be no big deal. The team would really benefit if he could step up his game, but the rope won’t be endless for a player who hasn’t shown much at all to this point in his career.