Time for Jon Baldwin to develop

December, 13, 2012
12/13/12
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Jon Baldwin has to show the Kansas City Chiefs he can produce in the final three weeks of the season.

The Chiefs need to see something so they can have confidence in their 2010 first-round pick moving forward. Baldwin has been an ineffective this season after a strong offseason and training camp.

Last month, Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel said it seemed like Baldwin’s production and development were stalled when top receiver Dwayne Bowe ended his holdout after the preseason. However, Bowe is out of Sunday’s game at Oakland and he could be out for the season with a rib injury.

Regardless if Bowe comes back this season, Baldwin must show he can help this team. Bowe is set to be a free agent and he may not return. The Chiefs drafted Baldwin with hopes of him being the top receiver in case Bowe ever left.

Right now, the Chiefs just want to see Baldwin produce. Baldwin has to frustrate the Chiefs because he has supreme size and athleticism and he is capable of making spectacular catches. But he has not been consistent.

Baldwin has 18 catches for 261 yards this season and he has just 39 career catches for 515 yards.

It is too early to call Baldwin a bust or to think that he can’t help the Chiefs down the road. But with Bowe sidelined and with Bowe’s future unclear, this is Baldwin’s time to show the Chiefs he can be an answer at receiver in 2013 and beyond.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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