Zack Baun Overview
Position: Outside Linebacker
Weight: 238 lbs
School: Wisconsin Badgers
NFL Combine Performance Data
40 Yard Dash: 4.65 seconds
Bench Press: 24 reps
Vertical Jump: 32.5″
Broad Jump: 115.0″
3 Cone Drill: 7.0 seconds
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.31 seconds
Zack Baun 2020 NFL Draft Profile
It is rare to find a high-motor and highly established pure pass rush specialist outside linebacker. Zack Baun is one of the most electrifying pass-rushing outside linebackers in this 2020 NFL Draft class. Baun was an absolute nightmare to stop for the Badgers’ defense this past season. Baun was a three-star recruit in the class of 2015 where he was the fourth-ranked player from the state of Wisconsin. In his redshirt freshman year in 2016, Baun accounted for 15 total tackles, nine solo tackles, and 3.5 tackles for loss. Baun spent his redshirt sophomore season rehabbing a reoccurring foot injury.
The next season, Baun elevated his role to become a full-time starter by starting all 13-game for the Badgers. That season, Baun accounted for 62 total tackles, 37 solo tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one interception, two pass deflections, and a fumble recovery. In his senior season, Baun accounted for 75 total tackles, 52 solo tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, two pass deflections, two forced fumbles, and an interception for a 34-yard touchdown. He was named first-team All-Big Ten Conference this past season. Baun has accumulated 152 total tackles, 98 solo tackles, 30.5 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, two interceptions, four pass deflections, and three forced fumbles. Baun’s performed well in the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine in position drills that including pass rush and tackling maneuvers.
- Explosive burst at the start of the play through quick twitchiness;
- Range-to-range mover and tracking linebacker;
- Great open-field tackler;
- High motor to create continuous push;
- Can match up against tight end in pass coverages;
- Great hip flexibility to turn as well as dip low and come back up fast;
- Efficient pass-rushing moves such as chops, dips, and rips;
- Great balance while looping to inside gaps;
- Athletic ability cover running backs efficient.
- Lacks size to be a powerful pass rusher;
- Doesn’t have the powerful pop when making the point of contact;
- Lacks the strength to overpower offensive linemen;
- Placement of feet gives away his intentions of where to attack;
- Relies solely on his athletic ability in the pass rush;
- Has poor length for a primary pass rusher;
- Fails to maintain the edge consistently;
- Can be fooled on specific RPO plays;
- Once offensive linemen keep him in check by pulling him close, he can’t do much more.
Comparisons: Kyle Van Noy
Teams with Position Needs: Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans
Projection: Late first round to early second round
Bottom Line on Zack Baun
Baun is an exceptional pass rusher as displayed from the 2019 college football season. In the Badgers’ key win this past season against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Baun accounted for nine total tackles, solo tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks. While he was great against collegiate offensive linemen with speed, he could potentially have a more difficult time against offensive linemen in the NFL. Baun will need to get more power in his moves and become a more efficient pass rusher in the NFL.
Baun has been up-and-down on the NFL Draft boards with the latest having him in the lower portion of the first round to early second round. While he isn’t one dimensional as a defensive player in terms of stopping the run and the pass, he is limited on how he attacks the line of scrimmage. Once Baun gets more power, he will become a much bigger threat to offensive linemen. Baun will have to deal with a diluted urine sample from the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine to deal during the final interviews leading up to the Draft.
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