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April 28, 2011

Pitt NFL Draft Central

PITTSBURGH--Pitt's pipeline to the pros continued this evening when receiver Jon Baldwin was selected in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Baldwin, the 26th overall pick, becomes the Panthers' third first-rounder in the past five years. He is the first Pitt wide receiver selected in the initial round since Larry Fitzgerald was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals with the third overall pick in 2004.

A native of Aliquippa, Pa., Baldwin also added to his famed high school's rich tradition of producing NFL talent. He joins three other Pitt players from Aliquippa High to go in the draft's first round. That elite group includes end Mike Ditka (Chicago Bears, 1961), defensive tackle Sean Gilbert (Los Angeles Rams, 1992) and cornerback Darrelle Revis (New York Jets, 2007). All three of those players went on to earn Pro Bowl berths during their NFL careers.

Baldwin declared for the NFL Draft following his junior season. He compiled 53 receptions for 822 yards (15.5 avg.) and five touchdowns in 2010, earning first-team All-Big East for the second consecutive year. Despite playing only three collegiate seasons, Baldwin finished sixth in career receiving yards (2,337) and eighth in career receptions (128) at Pitt.

The 6-foot-5 Baldwin displayed a breathtaking ability to make acrobatic catches at Pitt. He also was a dangerous vertical threat, averaging 18.3 yards per reception during his career.  

Pitt has had 24 players drafted in the first round since 1961. The Panthers' first-rounders include:

1961 Mike Ditka, TE, Chicago (5th overall pick)

1964 Paul Martha, S, Pittsburgh (7th)

1977 Tony Dorsett, RB, Dallas (2nd)

1978 Randy Holloway, DE, Minnesota (21st)

1981 Randy McMillan, RB, Baltimore (12th)

1981 Mark May, T, Washington (20th)

1981 Hugh Green, LB, Tampa Bay (7th)

1983 Jim Covert, T, Chicago (6th)

1983 Tim Lewis, CB, Green Bay (11th)

1983 Dan Marino, QB, Miami (29th)

1984 Bill Maas, NT, Kansas City (5th)

1985 Chris Doleman, LB, Minnesota (4th)

1985 Bill Fralic, T, Atlanta (2nd)

1986 Bob Buczkowski, DT, L.A. Raiders (24th)

1987 Tony Woods, LB, Seattle (18th)

1988 Craig Heyward, RB, New Or leans (24th)

1989 Burt Grossman, DE, San Diego (8th)

1989 Tom Ricketts, T, Pittsburgh (24th)

1992 Sean Gilbert, DT, L.A. Rams (3rd)

1995 Ruben Brown, OL, Buffalo Bills (14th)

2004 Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals (3rd)

2007 Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets (14th)

2008 Jeff Otah, OL, Carolina Panthers (19th)

2011 Jon Baldwin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (26th)




Jon Baldwin Continues Pitt's Pro Football Pipeline

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