Jon Baldwin had long way to go

April, 17, 2013
4/17/13
7:00
PM ET
A lot has been made of the fact that free-agent pickup Donnie Avery is working ahead of 2011 first-round pick Jon Baldwin as a starting receiver in Andy Reid’s first minicamp in Kansas City.

First of all, it’s April. Training camp is still over three months away. The fact that Avery is getting the first look means little.

But I’m not shocked by it. The Chiefs signed Avery as a free agent to be a big part of the offense and to help No.1 receiver Dwayne Bowe. Avery had 60 catches for the Colts last season. Plus, Baldwin has done little to show he’s ready to start. He has 41 catches and two touchdowns in his career. Baldwin has looked good in training camp, but he has been inconsistent in games.

Reid will give Baldwin a long look, but he has to prove himself. So far, so good.

"I would tell you this, Jon is working hard” Reid told reporters this week. “You saw him out there today. Jon is a unique specimen being as big as he is. He can do some things that people can't do just because of size and strength if he puts himself in the position to do that. He's working hard at it. He had a good day today."

Still, that doesn’t mean Baldwin is close to unseating Avery as a starter.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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