Safe Pick: What is Wisconsin Edge Zack Baun’s best position at the next level?
It seems like Wisconsin edge Zack Baun is universally loved by NFL draft analysts.
And what’s not to like? The senior was one of the best pass rushers in the nation last season with 12.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss. His 91.0 pass-rushing grade by Pro Football Focus was top-10 among qualifying FBS pass rushers, and he earned a 91.1 coverage grade the past two seasons on 195 coverage snaps.
However, there is one red flag with Baun, and it’s fairly significant: At 6-foot-2, 238 pounds, what position does Baun play at the next level? Keep in mind, while Baun has good size for an off-ball linebacker, he played almost exclusively as an edge rusher at Wisconsin.
“In speaking to six team sources, five thought Baun should go on Day 2. One team source said they thought he could go late in the first round because of the need for edge rushers and Baun’s ability to get after the quarterback.
While teams could look at him as an edge defender, many teams want more length at that position.
“It only takes one team to fall in love, so Baun has a shot at being a first-round pick,” Campbell said. “The consensus around the league, however, has him going on the second day of the 2020 NFL Draft and not being a first-rounder like some project.”
Baun still has lots of fans in the scouting community, and he’s still likely going to be drafted in the late first round or sometime in the second round.
But when a player’s best position at the next level is a position he has very little experience with, then it’s hard to call him a safe pick.
Jake Rigdon (firstname.lastname@example.org) covers the NFL draft for Fanspeak and the On The Clock, which is the only NFL draft simulator that allows you to customize and use your own big board while giving you control over trades.