NFL Draft: Wisconsin LB Zack Baun Scouting Report
As the 2020 NFL Draft approaches this week, AllBadgers.com will unveil its scouting reports/draft profiles of Badgers who could hear their names called this upcoming weekend. On Thursday, we stay within the linebacker position to discuss an in-state product who blossomed into an All-American.
Maturing during his time in Madison, Zack Baun eventually developed into a pass-rushing threat and one of the leaders of the Wisconsin defense during the 2019 season.
According to UW, Baun's 12.5 sacks last year was the third-most by a player in a single season. He also contributed 19.5 tackles for loss and 76 stops overall for Jim Leonhard's defense.
Where he winds up and which position(s) he ends up playing at the next level will be worth watching.
- Height: 6'2
- Weight: 238 pounds
- As stated by UW, "first consensus first-team All-America linebacker in school history"
- Consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2019
- 2020 Reese's Senior Bowl participant
- 2020 NFL Scouting Combine participant
NFL Scouting Combine Results
24 reps of 225 pounds
Wisconsin Pro Day Results
*Courtesy of UW
As seen last season and recently at the NFL Scouting Combine and Wisconsin's pro day, Baun demonstrated his speed, strength and agility. He became a headache for opposing offenses to contain.
Both ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. and Sports Illustrated's Kevin Hanson mentioned Baun's versatility that could emerge once he gets to the NFL. From Kiper's comments to an AllBadgers.com question about the Badger 'backer in late March:
"Like I said, his versatility to be a guy who can play outside as a pass rusher. He can be inside in your base. Pass rush situations, third down situations, he can be on the outside. He gives you that. He’s got a great attitude, great approach. He hustles. He’s a team guy, a great attitude. Players love him."
When asked during Wisconsin's pro day about trying to convince people that he could play a different position at the next level, he stated that as an outside linebacker in the program's scheme, he was able to perform "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," Baun said on March 11. "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."
Areas to Watch
One of his strengths will also be an area to watch in just how he adapts to playing potentially new positions, especially moving to an inside or off-the-ball linebacker position. How quickly he picks up his new roles will be a storyline for any team that selects him.
He told reporters in March that he knew that teams wanted to see him "move in space and my hips and stuff like that" at the the combine.
He feels like he can be utilized at a variety of positions.
"Will I play 'Sam' (strong-side linebacker), will I play 'Mike' (middle linebacker), 'Will' (weak-side linebacker)?," Baun said. "I can really do any of those."