We have already spent a considerable amount of time this offseason discussing a certain tall, talented wide receiver of immense talent and questionable character. So, in the interest of fair play -- and also in the interest of not completely ignoring a position like wide receiver as the 2011 NFL Draft approaches -- let's talk about a guy available in this draft who might remind you of that PB fella.
That would be Pittsburgh's Jonathan Baldwin, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound receiver who possesses a wealth of talent -- and character concerns to match. Baldwin appears destined to be drafted somewhere in the second half of the draft's first round, and he might be either a home run or a horror show for whoever picks him if you believe what the scouts say about him.
So, let's take a closer look.
WR, Pittsburgh (Jr.)
6-foot-5, 225 pounds
Projection: Round 1
From Sideline Scouting:
Positives: Great size and speed combination... Long arms and big hands make him a viable deep threat... Goes after the ball at its highest point, consistently wins jump balls... Good hands, rarely drops easy passes... Strong, can play in the middle the field... Is a long strider, covers a lot of ground quickly... Red zone threat, combination of size, leaping ability, and hands makes him a difficult cover near the end zone... High ceiling, can be a legit number one receiver in the NFL... Tough runner once he catches the football, very hard to bring down, his big strong legs are able to carry tacklers.
Negatives: Comes with some character concerns, was charged with disorderly conduct and harassment in 2009... Needs to work on his route running, slows down to change direction and runs too much in a straight line... Has trouble getting off the line of scrimmage despite his frame... Doesn't always get good separation in man coverage... Lacks any suddenness to his game... Appears lazy at times, doesn't always come back to the ball when plays break down... Has not dominated the way that he should with his physical gifts.
From Mocking The Draft:
It's easy to fall in love with Baldwin as a prospect. He has excellent size and good speed once he really gets moving. His hands are good and he catches the ball routinely away from his frame. However, there are a lot of questions out there about Baldwins effort. He's had some lapses of inconsistency throughout his career, which are concerning.
Still, it can be a little hard to judge Baldwin. He's never had a great quarterback throwing him the ball. As a junior, the Pittsburgh quarterback play was especially poor. Baldwin still managed to finish the season with 53 receptions for 822 yards and five touchdowns.
From CBS Sports:
Release: Gets off the line quickly considering his long, lanky frame. Presses corners when they play off -- which was commonplace at Pitt -- forcing them to turn their hips. Stutters around his man to get the sideline and separate when let free off the line. Locked up in press by smaller corners, however, must learn to use his hands to get off jam.
Hands: Capable of making sensational catches but dropped catchable passes when the team needed plays. Can snag high throws using height and vertical leap, also lays out for passes using great length. Fails to high-point jump balls consistently, too often waiting until they fall into his chest. Senses when big hits are coming.
Route running: Runs most of the route tree. His specialty is the nine route, but is also used on shallow and intermediate crosses. Willing to sit down in the zone over the middle. Gives head fake to get inside position on skinny post and seam. Could tighten up his footwork, rounds into and out of crossing routes instead of plant-and-driving. Must prove the quickness to run jerk routes inside.
After the catch: One of the areas in which he needs work. Gets the most out of plays when on the run, eluding oncoming defenders by allowing them to slide past. Long arms allow him to hold off smaller defenders. Flashes the balance to keep running after high-pointing a pass down the sideline. Height and average strength takes away his ability to elude NFL-caliber tackles in short areas. Jumps when unnecessary, taking away run-after-catch chances. Takes circuitous routes on comeback routes.
Blocking: Shows promise as a blocker with better effort. Usually takes aggression to the defender, churning his legs to push him back 10-15 yards at times. Has the length to hold off his man. Lacks flexibility to mirror NFL defensive backs and is very inconsistent moving his feet to sustain throughout the play.
Intangibles: Scouts will have questions about his attitude and maturity. Charged with misdemeanor indecent assault, harassment and disorderly conduct in May 2009 after an incident involving a female student on campus shuttle bus; charges eventually dropped. Father was a defensive lineman for the Panthers in the early 1980s. His cousin, Charles Fisher, played defensive back at West Virginia in the late 1990s and played in the NFL.