Zack Baun Wisconsin Pro Day Interview

Jake Kocorowski

MADISON, Wis. -- Crazy to think, over two years ago, Zack Baun missed the entire 2017 season due to a left foot injury. Now he embarks on a career in the NFL, and some mock drafts project him to be a first-round draft pick.

At Wisconsin Pro Day on March 11, Baun reran the 20-yard shuttle and whittled down his time in that particular drill. Timed at 4.31 seconds during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis a couple of weeks ago, he brought it down to 4.08 seconds. 

According to's combine tracker, that would have been the best time among all linebackers who participated in that drill in Indianapolis (Chris Orr also ran that time on Wednesday, for what it's worth).

That was the only retesting he performed in front of the 32 NFL teams in attendance, though he and other Badgers worked out with former UW head coach Bret Bielema in on-the-field drills thereafter.

All in all, Baun seems to have put himself in solid consideration to be a Day 1 NFL Draft pick. He spoke with reporters after his Pro Day performance, as seen in the above video:

*On how everything went on Pro Day compared to the Combine?

"I got back the day after the combine, and as I was pulling into Madison, you always see the (state) capitol sitting on the hill, and it just warmed my heart to know that I was back home. It's so nice to be here in Madison, and today was a good experience for me. Even to watch my fellow Badgers do what they do and get to show their stuff, it was a big moment for all of us. 

*On what he was impressed with in his performance at combine and what he wanted to improve upon during Pro Day:

"I think I had a good, good combine. I think my position drills especially were very good. And I know that's kind of what teams really wanted to see me move in space and my hips and stuff like that. I just wanted to do my pro agility again here, and I dropped it two tenths (of a second). So that was my goal."

*On trying to convince people that he can play a different position besides outside linebacker at the next level:

"Being an outside linebacker here, I get to do a lot of different things. I get to drop in coverage, I get to rush the passer, do stunts inside, play the run, do a whole bunch of different stuff, line up in a lot of different positions and spots. I just think with my versatility that I had here, it really could carry over and it will carry over to really any linebacker position."

*On if teams talked to him about the inside linebacker position:

"That's really been the conversation throughout the whole process. Will I play 'Sam' (strong-side linebacker), will I play 'Mike' (middle linebacker), 'Will' (weak-side linebacker). I can really do any of those."

*On if he pays attention to the mock drafts and thoughts from and not playing two years ago to potentially being a first-round draft pick:

"I think my drive and motivation right now is higher than ever. Of course I've seen the mocks and what not, but after the draft happens, does anyone go back and look at their mocks and compare the mocks to what actually happened? I've never heard of that. 

"People don't care. It's just a conversation piece. Don't pay it no mind, so I just come out here and work and show what I got."

*On going through the drills with Bret Bielema:

"I actually had a meeting with him last night in the film room, and it went really well. Familiar face here at Wisconsin, and I think that connection is really good."

*On Bielema's humor:

"There definitely was some humor, and last night, he was cracking jokes while we were drawing up stuff on the board or doing that. But the guy's very professional, and he definitely knows what he's talking about."

*On Bielema's feedback:

"He likes my hand usage. I've said it time and time again, being an undersized edge (rusher), I need to have perfect technique because my arms definitely aren't as long as these big 6'7 tackles. But he really liked my technique, and there's definitely things to improve upon, too."