Wisconsin’s Dynamic Threat Could Fill Multiple Gaps for Falcons

Zack Baun

Getty Zack Baun #56 of the Wisconsin Badgers.

There are a number of ways the Falcons could go in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft and Wisconsin’s QB nightmare, Zack Baun could be one of them.

Atlanta also has needs and depth charts to fill at various positions including: cornerback, offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, edge rusher, and running back. Baun can naturally fill both needs at linebacker and edge rusher.

Baun made it known last season that he has a bright future in the NFL and is projected to be a first-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.

A ‘Wrecking Ball’

In high school, Baun played on the offensive side of the ball as a dual-threat QB but that all changed when he got to college.

Baun played outside linebacker as a Badger at Wisconsin and let his versatility shine at the position. In 2018 Baun was a junior and quickly became the team’s go-to guy. Although he was a starter, he didn’t shine very bright until 2019 where he recorded 75 total tackles, 12.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss. At the end of the season, he was a first-team All-Big Ten selection.

Falcons’ digital managing editor and NFL draft expert, Matt Tabeek called Baun a wrecking ball.

“Versatile, athletic, a quarterback’s nightmare. Baun is a sideline-to-sideline wrecking ball.”

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Baun’s Combine Performance

Baun did what he does best and went all-out at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine.

Baun ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 and ranked No. 13 on the list of linebackers and edge rushers. The fastest time was 4.39 by Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons.

Players with a long wingspan like Baun, struggle at bench press but Baun showed his strength by putting up an impressive 24 reps of 225 pounds. He ranked 3rd in the bench press drill for linebackers.

Baun was fifth in the 3-cone drill and ranked tenth in the 20-yard shuttle. You can’t coach speed when it comes to pressuring the quarterback. Baun has it, a lot of it.

How Baun Fits in Falcon’s Defense

Baun doesn’t fit perfectly on the Falcon’s defense, but he has plenty of potential to. Baun has shown that he could thrive as a 3-4 outside linebacker who can rush the passer, something the Falcons haven’t seen in a while.

The Falcons could never successfully mold De’Vondre Campbell into the kind of player he needed to be on defense, but Baun seems like he could be a lot more promising as a wild-card.

NFL expert, Lance Zierlein gave his analysis on Baun:

“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.”

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