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Jon Baldwin shows no signs of improvement for Chiefs

Chalk up another one for Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who cut his teeth with Bill Belichick and former Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli in the New England Patriots' front office.

Before pulling the trigger on his blockbuster trade for Julio Jones, Dimitroff was advised by Belichick to stay put and draft Jon Baldwin instead. Dimitroff stuck to his guns, leading Pioli to nab Baldwin with the No. 26 overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Three years later, the Chiefs still are waiting for a return on Pioli's investment. Assistant head coach/receivers David Culley recently admitted that Baldwin is "still learning," a troubling sign 26 games into the former first-rounder's career.

According to's Bill Williamson, injury-prone veteran Donnie Avery is the favorite to start opposite Dwayne Bowe -- leaving Baldwin to battle Dexter McCluster for snaps in multi-wide packages. This is the same Avery who tied for the NFL lead in drop rate while finishing near the bottom of the pack in catch percentage last season. In other words, it's hard to find a less efficient starting wide receiver than Avery.

Billed as a poor man's Vincent Jackson coming out of Pittsburgh, Baldwin has gained attention for spectacular catches in offseason non-contact drills. When the pads come on, though, Baldwin has yet to prove he can beat the jam at the line of scrimmage. It doesn't help that he's slow getting in and out of breaks and has struggled with dropped passes in training camp.

With Pioli out of the picture, Baldwin no longer is on scholarship. If he doesn't accelerate his development, he won't be long for the City of Fountains.

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