Jonathan Baldwin

Rams interested in trading down

Rams GM Billy Daveney has stated that he and his staff are already discussing the possibility of trading down on draft day.

It makes perfect sense and is probably their dream scenario unless Julio Jones is on the board.

The Rams only glaring need is a wide receiver, but only Jones and A.J. Green are likely to get top 15 grades from many teams. However, there could be two or three receivers – Torrey Smith, Jon Baldwin and Titus Young – worthy of a late 1st-round selection.

In addition to receiver, two other primary areas of need in St. Louis – outside linebacker and cornerback – are lacking mid-1st-round talent, making the move even more likely. In a situation where Jones, Akeem Ayers, Prince Amukamara and Jimmy Smith are all off the board, the Rams may be forced to trade down or settle for someone at a position that doesn’t fill a hole.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft, Rams Comments Off

NFL Combine prop bets?

For the past few years Bodog.com has sent me a list of NFL Draft prop bets. I always just hit the delete button because I have better things to do in late April than waste my time trying to figure out if the Big East or ACC will have more top-50 picks or whatever other nonsense they come up with.

But this year they’re stepping up their game, and I’m intrigued.

I recently received an email with NFL Combine prop bets. This is possibly the most ridiculous thing you could bet on, because we’re talking about a difference of hundredths of a second, or quarters of an inch on some of these, but hey, it’s not like anything else interesting is going on in the sports world in late February.

So I’ll take the time to weigh in on a few…

Who will have the fastest 40 Yard Dash Time
Christian Ponder (QB FSU)                                 -120
Jake Locker (QB Washington)                           -120

This is a gimme. Locker should be faster than Ponder by a full 10th of a second (and that fact that .10 is considered a large margin is exactly why you’re a fool if you bet on any of these).

Who will have the fastest 40 Yard Dash Time
Mark Ingram (RB Alabama)                                 -120
Ryan Williams (RB Virginia Tech)                     -120

Supposedly Ingram is going to run in the 4.4s, but I’ll believe it when I see it. My money’s on Williams.

Who will have the fastest 40 Yard Dash Time
Julio Jones (WR Alabama)                                  Even
Jon Baldwin (WR Pittsburgh)                               -130

Baldwin’s camp has been hyping him up and he reportedly has been clocked in the 4.3 range. Not sure I believe that, but it won’t be difficult for him to post a better time than Jones. I’ll be mildly surprised if Jones cracks 4.5.

Who will the most bench press repetitions?
Nate Solder (OT Colorado)                                  -130
Gabe Carimi (OT Wisconsin)                               Even

Carimi is the easy choice here. Not only does he just appear more muscular than Solder, but Solder is 6’8″ – the taller you are, the harder it is to get large number of reps on the bench.

Who will have the highest vertical leap?
A.J. Green (WR Georgia)                                    -130
Patrick Peterson (CB LSU)                                 Even

This could be a close call, but my money’s on Peterson. It’s very rare for someone with Green’s height to compete with a guy like Peterson in the vertical.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft 1 Comment

All-Overrated Team (pre-combine edition)

QB – Jake Locker, Washington
Locker is all hype and no substance. He lacks the accuracy to play quarterback in the NFL and he’s going to fall out of the 1st round.
RB – Mark Ingram, Alabama
Ingram wasn’t even the best running back on his own team this past season. Comparisons to Emmitt Smith are being tossed around, but he reminds me more of Ron Dayne.
WR – Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh
A gifted athlete with elite size and strength, but just doesn’t play up to his potential.
TE – D.J. Williams, Arkansas
Athletic, but doesn’t really have a position. Too short to be a star at tight end.
OT – Nate Solder, Colorado
Suffering (or benefiting, I guess) from the media’s Bruce Campbell syndrome. He’s athletic, but far from a finished product.
OG – Mike Pouncey, Florida
He’s not his brother. He’s good, but his stock in the media has risen because of his last name.
DE – Adrian Clayborn, Iowa
After a stellar 2009 he took a step backwards as a senior. There are some concerns about his effort on the field.
DT – Marcell Dareus, Alabama
He’s never performed at an elite level as a full-time starter – not exactly the résumé of a top-10 pick.
OLB – Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue
Is he strong enough to play defensive end? Is he athletic enough to play linebacker?
ILB – Greg Jones, Michigan State
A gifted athlete who consistently falls short of expectations. He benefits from a very weak class for the position.
CB – Brandon Harris, Miami FL
Fast enough to stick with anyone, but he’s undersized and consistently gets beat by more physical receivers.
S – Robert Sands, West Virginia
Its easy to be intrigued by his size, but very few have ever played the position effectively at his size.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft 1 Comment

Jonathan Baldwin scouting report

Jonathan Baldwin WR Pittsburgh

Ht: 6’5″

Wt: 230

Strengths:
Incredible size/speed combination. Built like a tight end but runs like a receiver. Excellent leaping ability; does a nice job going up and plucking the ball out of the air. Not afraid to go across the middle. Has the potential to be a dominant blocker.
Weaknesses:
Legitimate character concerns. Charged with misdemeanor assault, harassment and disorderly conduct in May 2009 for in an incident with a female student. Charges were later dropped. Often looks disinterested on the field and definitely takes plays off. Timed speed is great, but doesn’t play at that same level. Takes him awhile to get up to full speed. He’s straight-line fast, but lacks the quickness and agility to shake more athletic cornerbacks.
Comments:
NFL teams love tall receivers who can stretch the field, so Baldwin will get a serious look as a potential 1st-round pick. However, I have concerns about his work ethic and maturity and I don’t think I could justify spending 1st-round money on him. Additionally, I’m not convinced that he’s a true No. 1 receiver. He’s a workout warrior but on the field he just doesn’t display the same speed and athleticism. His upside makes him well worth the risk in the 2nd round, but he is definitely a boom-or-bust prospect.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2011 1 Comment