Why Baldwin Was Pick 26, Not 27

From the Truman Sports Complex

So Todd Haley, what the heck was going on in those few moments when the Chiefs went on the clock to make the 27th selection of the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft?

How did it end up that the Chiefs actually drafted in the 26th, which had belonged to the Baltimore Ravens?

“We were told the Ravens passed,” Haley said. “So we made our pick.”

The draft has been going on for years now, and one would figure that after all this time everybody involved would have a pretty good handle on how things are supposed to get done at Radio City Music Hall.

But the NFL is made up of humans, beings that are certainly fallible and sometimes suffer from a sudden rush of blood to their head. That’s how the Ravens screwed the pooch on their pick, and ended up drafting behind the Chiefs.

As it turned out, there was no harm, no foul because the Chiefs wanted WR Jonathan Baldwin. The Ravens did not want Baldwin, nor did the Chicago Bears, the team involved that apparently got the whole thing screwed up.

“It was our fault,” Bears GM Jerry Angelo told the Chicago media after using the 29th pick to select Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi.  “They (Baltimore) did everything according to the rules … We had a disconnect. Whatever you hear, Baltimore did everything right.

“We dropped the ball. I dropped the ball. What’s been done can’t be undone.”

According to Angelo, the Bears feared that the Chiefs were going to take Carimi with the 27th selection. That led to the discussions with the Ravens at No. 26. Apparently the Ravens and Bears could not come to a firm agreement on the trade as Baltimore’s time on the clock ran out.

The whole thing landed in the lap of the NFL’s vice-president of player personnel and football operations Joel Bussert and as he picked up and talked with several people on the phone, he grew more agitated and angry, making for an entertaining side show for the television viewers.

After the smoke cleared, the Chiefs had the player they wanted, the Bears had the player they wanted and the Ravens had Colorado CB Jimmy Smith, a player they would have taken at No. 29. What they didn’t have was whatever the compensation was that Chicago was offering to close out the trade. Based on most draft choice value charts used in trades, it would probably have cost the Bears their fourth and fifth round picks to make that move.

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