Positives: Baldwin has a great combination of size and athleticism. He has reliable hands and he adjusts to the ball in the air as well as any receiver in this draft. He uses his size well to shield defenders from the ball and attacks the ball in the air to high point it before the defender can make a play on it. He doesn’t have great straight line speed but because of his long legs and strides he can get behind a defense once he gets going. Because of his size he has some potential as a blocker and could be dominant in this area if he was coached up. Also because of his size he is a serious red zone threat because of his size and leaping ability.
Negatives: Baldwin isn’t a good route runner and he doesn’t have much burst in and out of his breaks to create separation which will hinder him in the NFL. He seems to have coasted on his athleticism too much as a route runner and while that may have worked in college it will not work as well in the NFL even if he is an impressive athletic specimen. He is something of a possession receiver and won’t get you much yardage after he makes the catch despite his size and pretty good straight line speed. He isn’t as physical of a player as you might expect at his size, not being as domineering as a blocker or as a runner with the ball as you’d like to see from a man his size. His effort level is inconsistent as a receiver and a blocker and at times seemed to have a bit of an attitude problem, and clearly expressed frustration with the QB situation after the season which some teams might see as a red flag.
Overall: Baldwin has a lot of physical gifts but I wonder how hard he is willing to work to improve his route running and whether or not he is going to give full effort in the NFL. He can be an effective possession receiver if he can improve his route running and he should be a deep ball threat in the same vein as Larry Fitzgerald if he can give a more consistent effort on jump balls. Additionally he could be very effective in the red zone for that same reason. He just has to give more of an effort, work harder and improve his fundamentals. That makes him a very intriguing guy because if he works on his route running, his hands, his effort level and his blocking technique he could be a very good receiver, potentially a #1 guy. But if he doesn’t he is just going to be a big, athletic possession receiver with an inconsistent effort level who will be lucky to be a #2 in the NFL. So he is a boom/bust guy in my opinion and I tend to stay away from those guys unless they have a pretty good motor or work ethic, and I don’t think Baldwin does.
Projection: 2nd round. He is too talented to fall out of the 2nd round and he will probably go in the top 40-45 selections but I would shy away from him there. Later in the 2nd he’d be worth a shot potentially but I don’t think he will ever reach his immense potential unless he goes to a receiver coach who will really push him without causing him to tune him out.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
After Catch: 2.0
Body Control: 4.0
Thanks for reading!