Packers draft profile: Wisconsin LB Zack Baun

After a 13-3 regular season and a trip to the NFC championship game, the Green Bay Packers still have a few holes to fill on their roster if they want to improve in 2020.

Green Bay is set to pick at No. 30 in the 2020 NFL draft, so it will have to wait a bit before making its first selection.

In this “Packers draft profile” series, we will look at several options for Packers in the first round and dissect their collegiate careers, highlight reel and how they would fit with the team.

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In this edition, we look at Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun.

OVERVIEW

As all Wisconsin Badgers football fans know by now, Baun was a dual-threat quarterback at Brown Deer High School and committed to Wisconsin as an athlete in 2015. Baun won the Offensive Player of the Year award and was ranked by 247 Sports as a three-star recruit and the fourth-best player in Wisconsin in the 2015 class.

Baun redshirted and was moved to linebacker during his freshman year in Madison, then contributed sparingly in 2016 before missing all of the 2017 season with a foot injury. The native Wisconsinite made a big jump in 2018 with 63 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and an interception. Baun was a team captain and a defensive leader of the Badgers’ 2019 Rose Bowl team and finished the season with 76 tackles, two forced fumbles, one interception and 19.5 tackles for loss – including 12.5 sacks. He was named the first consensus first-team All-American linebacker in UW history.

COMBINE RESULTS

40-yard dash: 4.65 seconds

Bench press: 24 reps

Vertical jump: 32.5 inches

Broad jump: 115.0 inches

3 cone drill: 7.00 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.31 seconds

MEASURABLES

FILM ROOM

 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

“Zack Baun will excel in a defensive system that capitalizes on his versatility and football IQ to place him in various roles in the defensive front seven. Baun has the quickness, burst and hand usage to win as a pressure player but early downs will serve him best working off the football to take advantage of his quick processor and short area quickness to step into gaps and fill versus the run. He can be a critical starter for a defense but needs to be moved around to play his best football.” – TheDraftNetwork.com

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“Baun is a highly-athletic defender who broke out onto the scene in 2019. His range as a tackler, acceleration off the snap and motor with which he rushes the passer gives him a high ceiling at the next level. He’s a bit undersized, but NFL defensive coaches will have fun utilizing him in numerous different roles.” – Draft Wire (USA Today)

“Ascending prospect whose explosive production on the field has begun to mirror his explosive athletic traits. Baun’s twitchy get-off and deep bend at the edge is nightmare fuel for Big Ten tackles and he’s still at the early stages of pass rush development. He is aggressive to flow downhill in run support, has sideline-to-sideline range and is fluid dropping into coverage. He’s strong but a little light as an edge-setter so teams will need to figure out how best to align him. Baun is a scheme-diverse linebacker with high-impact potential whose best days are ahead of him.” – NFL.com

HOW HE FITS

With the departures of Blake Martinez, Kyler Fackrell and B. J. Goodson in the offseason, the Packers are pretty thin at linebacker and Baun could be a natural fit. Baun is a quick, versatile defender who has the ability to rush the passer, disrupt running plays in the backfield and drop back in coverage. There is a good chance he will be available to Green Bay at No. 30, and the do-it-all hometown hero might just be too good for the Packers to pass up.