Separation Skills/Route Running: Struggles with creating separation from defensive backs during intermediate routes. Never really appears to be wide open. Defenders are always in position to make a play on the ball. Average quickness and lateral movement. Long strides do allow him to create solid separation on vertical routes. Was asked to run mostly deep routes during the 2010 season. When asked to run intermediate routes, he often rounded them off and wasn’t crisp in and out of his breaks. Is also a little lethargic coming off the line of scrimmage.
Ball Skills: First-rate leaper. Can out jump anyone in a jump ball situation. Tracks the deep ball beautifully. Arm length is above average and he uses them to pluck the ball from the sky. Strong handed kid. Makes a ton of acrobatic catches. Elite body control. Is able to make adjustments on the ball that many receivers simply can’t do. Huge threat in the redzone because of the combination of his size and ball skills.
Big play ability: The vast majority of Baldwins plays are of the deep variety. Shows the ability to double move cornerbacks and take the top off the secondary. Slow off the line but builds up speed nicely when going vertical. Eats up a lot of real-estate with his long limbs. Can put 7 on the board quickly. Has some YAC ability to his game as well.
Competitiveness/ Toughness: Competes for every ball thrown his way. Blocks well in the run game. Has no quarries about catching passes over the middle or leaping in the air and leaving his body vulnerable to big hits. Physical runner with the ball in his hands, but sometimes fails to lower his head upon contact to gain extra yards. Lacks physicality at the line of scrimmage. Hands aren’t as violent as his size would lead to believe, and can get bullied by smaller cornerbacks in press.
Intangibles: Dedicated worker in the classroom and weight room. Named to the Big East All-Academic Team. Recently threw his quarterback and coaches under the bus, in a rant to a reporter about how he wont be back for his senior season. In 2009, arrested and charged with misdemeanor indecent assault, summary harassment and summary disorderly conduct. Doesn’t lead by example on the field. Seems to be disinterested at times and plays lackadaisical.
Overall Stock: Baldwin has some work to do to be considered one of the elite wide receivers. The size and physical tools are there, but his passion for the game is in question. His route running is not up to snuff. He’ll need to work on his intermediate routes once he reaches the next level. Also has to work on beating press coverage. There is a lot of upside to Baldwin. He poses a huge threat down the field and in the redzone. The NFL has slowly been transitioning to bigger receivers. Take a peek at players like Brandon Marshall, Vincent Jackson, and Dwayne Bowe, and you’ll see what type of success Baldwin can have in the NFL. Those big bodies cause match up issues and teams are looking to create as many as possible. The draft is around the corner and he will need to continue to answer questions about his character. If he can pass the personality tests, he should hear his name called on day two.
NFL Comparison: Vincent Jackson