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What WR Daylen Baldwin brings to Michigan

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Michigan just added length and speed to its receiving corps.

Penn State v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Michigan bolstered its receiving corps on Monday with the addition of Jackson State grad-transfer Daylen Baldwin.

Baldwin comes to Michigan with two years of eligibility remaining, and a good amount of experience during his collegiate career.

Between Morgan State and Jackson State, Baldwin has 57 receptions for 872 yards with 9 touchdowns. Baldwin had a breakout season this spring with 27 receptions, 540 yards, and 7 touchdowns in just six games — good enough to be named a first-team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference selection and receive the SWAC Newcomer of the Year Award.

Baldwin, 21, standing at 6-foot-3 210 pounds, will give Michigan someone with size, length, speed, and strength on the outside. Before Baldwin’s arrival, Michigan’s only 6-foot-1 or taller wideout with starting experience was 6-foot-3 Cornelius Johnson, who’s only played in 7 games during his career (20 receptions, 315 yards, 4 TDs). Michigan has freshmen such as Andrel Anthony and Cristian Dixon who are 6-foot-2, but still need to add weight to their frame and still need time to get acclimated to the speed and physicality of college football.

Bringing in a player of Baldwin’s skill-set who has good speed, the ability to win physical battles against corners, solid shiftiness, and quick stop-go acceleration could prove to be a valuable addition for Michigan. There’s a reason why Ohio State offered Baldwin along with Michigan — he’s good, he has potential.

Michigan have a lot of receivers who could wind up being good this season, but what the final depth chart looks like remains far from being clear. While Ronnie Bell, Mike Sainristil, and Cornelius Johnson may lead the race for the top spots, Roman Wilson, A.J. Henning, Andrel Anthony, and Cristian Dixon all could turn out to be surprise difference-makers in 2021 — and now there’s Baldwin who wants to make his presence known. Michigan has depth at wideout, but now they have more depth on the outside boundary as well with Baldwin.

While it’s difficult to project how much playing time Baldwin will wind up receiving, it would be far from shocking to see him carve out a significant role for Michigan this season — especially with his ability to do damage in the open field and rack up yards after the catch. In fact, Baldwin ranked seventh in the FCS with 9.2 yards after catch. Baldwin’s above-average open-field abilities expand his route tree by default, which will make it harder for defenses to guess how to play him. While Baldwin can definitely be an asset just running vertical, he shows polish as a route runner with slants and mesh routes.

Baldwin appears to be more than a flier, more than someone Michigan is just taking a chance on. Baldwin had solid options, he chose Michigan, and now we’ll see how much of a difference maker he’ll be for Michigan.