New Orleans Saints Select Zack Baun in Third Round of 2020 NFL Draft

Jake Kocorowski

After an breakout season at Wisconsin, Zack Baun finds a home with the New Orleans Saints during the 2020 NFL Draft.

The NFC South franchise selected Baun with the No. 74 overall pick in the third round on Friday evening. The MMQB's Albert Breer first reported the news, which also involved a trade with the Cleveland Browns to move up 14 spots to take the Badger standout.

As stated by UW, the in-state product became the "first consensus first-team All-America linebacker in school history" during a 2019 season where he lead the team in sacks (12.5) and tackles for loss (19.5). Along with 76 tackles, he received consensus first-team All-Big Ten honors.

Baun helped Wisconsin finish the 2019 season first in the FBS in third-down conversion defense (27.3%), sixth in rushing defense (99.8 yards per game), 10th in scoring defense (16.9), and 13th in team passing efficiency defense (113.9).

In his Wisconsin career, Baun played in 39 games, including the final 27 as a starter. After the 2020 Rose Bowl, he participated in the Reese's Senior Bowl and trained at EXOS in Phoenix, Ariz., in preparation for the NFL Scouting Combine.

Based off of NFL.com's draft profile of Baun (which showed measurables of 6'2 and 238 pounds) and its combine tracker, he put together a successful showing in Indianapolis:

  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.65 seconds (tied for 13th of 30 linebackers who performed drill)
  • Bench Press: 24 reps of 225 pounds (third of 27 linebackers who performed drill)
  • Vertical Jump: 32.5" (tied for 19th of 31 linebackers who performed drilled)
  • Broad Jump: 115" (27th of 31 linebackers who performed drill)
  • 3-Cone Drill: 7.00 seconds (tied for fifth of 18 linebackers who performed drill)
  • 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.31 seconds (10th of 19 linebackers who performed drill)

During Wisconsin's pro day on March 11, he improved his 20-yard shuttle time even further to 4.08 seconds. 

Last week, reports surfaced that Baun told teams about a diluted sample taken at the combine. During Friday night's draft telecast on ESPN, the NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah noted the following:

"And Louis (Riddick), if not for some concerns medically, he would have been long gone by this point in time. That's the only reason he was still on the board at this point."

Baun joins these former Wisconsin linebackers to be selected in the NFL Draft since 2016:

  • Joe Schobert (fourth-round selection in 2016)
  • T.J. Watt (first-round selection in 2017)
  • Vince Biegel (fourth-round selection in 2017)
  • Jack Cichy (sixth-round selection in 2018)
  • Leon Jacobs (seventh-round selection in 2018)
  • Ryan Connelly (fifth-round selection in 2019)
  • Andrew Van Ginkel (fifth-round selection in 2019)

More Zack Baun Coverage from AllBadgers.com and Other Sports Illustrated Sites