First off, the Chiefs 2011 NFL Draft Party at Arrowhead was a success.

First off, the Chiefs 2011 NFL Draft Party at Arrowhead was a success.

The elephant in the room, the ongoing NFL talks, couldn’t be seen. Fans came with their colors and waited patiently for the Chiefs’ 21st pick. Speaking of colors, I wore mine, a nice Polo, but noticed other media folks weren’t. I mentioned it to another newspaper guy thinking I was the weird one.

I was told about the “media bias.” Well, maybe so, but once a fan always a fan. I just have to wear the colors.

So back to the draft party, fans saw former Chief players signing autographs and mingling. Kimble Anders was enjoying the draft, as well as Anthony Davis and Danan Hughes. Voice of the Chiefs Mitch Holthus, along with the Chiefs’ Josh Looney and others, provided draft coverage the entire night. Owner Clark Hunt was signing autographs and talking to fans as well.

Bill Muir talked a little, as well as Scott Pioli. The atmosphere was good, with former players and fans both eager to see who Pioli and the Chiefs would take. A neat thing the Chiefs did was open the outside for fans to sit and watch events on the stadium big screen.


So when it finally arrived to the 21st pick, everyone was on their feet. This was it. But then the Chiefs traded, dropped six spots, and with that several decided to go home. With more picks to go, I went outside, enjoyed the stadium and visited with fans.

Finally with the 27th pick, the Chiefs selected receiver Jonathan Baldwin from Pitt. Reaction was mixed. There were boos, cheers and surprise from fans who waited to see. Baldwin was a player who could have been taken anywhere from the 26th to the 50th pick. had Baldwin at 62. Pure and simple, the Chiefs drafted for need, at least that’s how many received it. Initially many were OK with it, but others didn’t see Baldwin as a Pioli guy.

The Chiefs passed up some good defensive players on the first day, but getting a matching receiver to Dwayne Bowe was a need too. I just didn’t see it coming in the first, and I wasn’t thinking Baldwin.

Here’s the deal with Baldwin. He goes against the grain of what I thought Pioli was looking for. At 6-4, 228-pounds Baldwin is a big receiver. If you watch his highlight reels on YouTube you’ll hear “leaping catch” several times. He’s also fairly fast. That’s not the issue because being a giant wide receiver is very good thing.

It’s the question over his motivation, work ethic and consistency.

Some fans dialed 610 Sports on the way home and mentioned Tyson Jackson. Another hoped it wasn’t going to be an every other type of draft as far as being good or bad.

With the final four rounds ending today, it’s way too soon to compare anything to the 2009 NFL Draft. But some did on the first day of the draft.

Baldwin wasn’t the highest ranked receiver at 27th, he wasn’t the best overall player either, but something about him made the Chiefs pull the trigger. It’s one of those “they’d better be right” sort of picks. Dwayne Bowe was the last receiver taken in the first by the Chiefs, and if they had stayed put with the 21st Sylvester Morris was the last receiver taken in that spot in 2004.

Morris was a bust, but Bowe has turned into a pretty good receiver.

Baldwin is a bigger version of Bowe. So the impression a fan could get is that the Chiefs are planning to get physical. They were out muscled against the Baltimore Ravens in their playoff loss last season. They also were shutdown.

Once the Ravens stacked the line and covered Bowe, the Chiefs had no viable option for Matt Cassel.

With the 21st, you’re not guaranteed a pristine pick.

What the Chiefs brought to the team was an additional pick and a receiver with potential to develop into a chain mover at the next level. He can latch hold of the ball and win battles over defensive backs. Besides Tony Moeaki, the Chiefs will have another weapon for the middle.

A big plus for Baldwin is the strong hands, and like Bowe, he can make the acrobatic catch in traffic. He may be more dangerous than Bowe after the catch as he can run away from linebackers and run over defensive backs.

Baldwin has to refine his game. That’s the thing. Not only that, but if rumor is true, his effort is a question. Haley has no problem whipping players into shape. So if the kid is serious, then his freakish measurables will be a huge positive for the Chiefs.

The Chiefs draft party was great, but on Baldwin we’ll have to wait and see.

Good day, Chief fans.