Earlier this week, the 49ers and Chiefs swapped a pair of first-round disappointments at the receiver position. Chiefs (and former 49ers) quarterback Alex Smith has vouched for A.J. Jenkins. Likewise, the man who made the former Pitt wideout a member of the Chiefs is praising Jon Baldwin.
“When we drafted him, we felt he was a tremendous height, weight, speed prospect,” former Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli told Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group. “Even though he’s a big, tall guy, he has deceptive speed and covers more ground than you’d expect. . . . He’s got very good hands. He just needs to be more consistent. He’ll make catches other players in the NFL just can’t make.”
So far, Baldwin hasn’t made all that many catches — 21 as a rookie in 2011 and 20 in 2012. The quality of quarterback play possibly is a factor; now, Baldwin has upgraded from Matt Cassel to Colin Kaepernick.
“What happens between a quarterback and receiver is very much chemistry related, and that’s yet to be determined,” Pioli said regarding Baldwin’s new arrangement.
In the end, it could be a win-win proposition. Both players arguably will benefit from the wake-up call, and both teams now have nothing to lose.