Pitt WR Baldwin Backs Off NFL Draft Declaration
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – One day after losing their head coach, the Pitt football team appeared to be losing its most talented offensive player.
According to NFLDraftScout.com, wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin said he intended to leave Pitt and declare for the 2011 NFL Draft. However, that decision may not be concrete.
Baldwin told the website, “Heck yeah I’m leaving. It can only get worse. They had me running a lot of deep routes [this year] and yards were hard to come by. I barely ran intermediate routes; it felt like they were purposely trying to disrupt my draft stock.”
Baldwin released another statement on Wednesday that claims the original was made while he was emotional over Dave Wannstedt’s resignation.
“Yesterday, I received a text message from a reporter at a time when I was very emotional. Because of everything that happened, I wasn’t using the best judgment and am very sorry about the things that were printed. I love my teammates and coaches at Pitt. I have not made a final decision on the NFL Draft. My only focus is on my commitment to my team and preparing to win our bowl game next month,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin struggled getting any chemistry this year with first-year quarterback Tino Sunseri. After gaining over 1,100 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2009, Baldwin finished 2010 with 52 catches for only 810 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Despite his struggles this year, Baldwin is expected to be a first-round pick in the upcoming draft. Baldwin’s last game with Pitt will be vs. Kentucky in the Compass Bowl on Jan. 8.
Obviously, Pitt would miss Baldwin, but they are stocked at the wide receiver position with Mike Shanahan, Devin Street, Ed Tinker, Todd Thomas and Andrew Carswell.
The big question now is whether running back Dion Lewis will be returning. With Wannstedt gone, that could hurt Pitt’s chances.