Zack Baun
I don’t understand the hype around Zack Baun heading into the 2020 NFL Draft. It’s one thing to be a tweener. It’s another to not be good at anything. (Michael Conroy/Associated Press)

Wisconsin hybrid player, Zack Baun has been a fan favorite by a lot of draft experts. My question is why? Baun is getting late first and early second round hype. For the life of me, I can’t figure it out. Baun has a lot of issues heading into the 2020 NFL Draft. Baun not only lacks a true position, but he also doesn’t have the skill set to excel at whatever position you want to put him at.

Baun reminds me a lot of Uchenna Nwosu who the Chargers drafted in the 2nd round (48th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft. Baun will likely go in that same range or possibly even higher. Nwosu was a man without a position at USC. Nwosu started his career at safety and transitioned to defensive end. He made some splash plays with athleticism but wasn’t a real pass rusher. Nwosu was an upside play by the Chargers because nothing he did at USC indicated you were getting a 2nd round player. To this point, Nwosu has been a flop recording 5.5 sacks in 2 years.

Enter Zack Baun who comes in as the same type of player. A hybrid pass rusher that can’t actually rush the passer. The Wisconsin defender measured in at 6-foot-2, 238 at the combine. To make matters worse, Baun tested positive for a diluted sample at the combine for chugging too much water. Realistically, he’s a 225 pound defensive end. Get that weak sauce out of here. That’s an automatic pass.

Baun has a great first step. That’s what made him somewhat productive at the college level. His 1.54 10-yard split time was tops for the edge rushers at the combine. That’s all great. Baun finished the 2019 season with 12.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss. That looks great on the surface. However, it doesn’t paint the full picture which makes translating the Badger to the NFL level almost an impossible task.

Baun had 53 pressures in 2019. 0 of them came with a bull rush. There is no power to his game. Baun won with all speed. You can do that in the Big 10 with some unathletic tackles. That shit isn’t going to fly in the NFL where all of the offensive linemen can move. At the Senior Bowl, Baun kept getting his ass kicked in pass rushing drills. I’m not sure I’ve seen an edge rusher get pancaked so frequently at this event.

If my notes aren’t good enough for you, the Senior Bowl has the tape on their YouTube channel. Do with that what you want. The only thing you’re going to find is Baun getting pancaked rep after rep.

That brings me to problem number two. Baun isn’t a real pass rusher. Realistically, he needs to be an off-ball linebacker that you can send on blitz packages. In the coverage one on one drills, Baun looked worse than I would have trying to cover. That’s not a joke. I’m just a washed-up wrestler but I would have done a better job in coverage than Baun. I encourage you to watch the film from their YouTube Channel. Calling his performance in coverage as ugly would be an understatement.

It’s one thing to be a tweener. It’s another thing to be a 220 pound defensive end who can’t rush the passer and be totally lost as a stand up linebacker in coverage. I don’t get the hype around Zack Baun. This is not a player I would invest even a middle round draft pick on let alone a first or second round pick.