Zack Baun may end up taking the biggest slide in the 2020 NFL Draft. A late-first or early-second round projection, the former Wisconsin linebacker fell all the way to middle of the third round before hearing his name called by the commissioner.
Baun was taken with the No. 74 selection by the New Orleans Saints. He was the second Badger to be taken in this year’s draft, joining running back Jonathan Taylor who was picked at No. 41 by the Indianapolis Colts.
Just a week before the first round of the draft, Baun had to call all 32 teams to inform them that he tested positive for a diluted sample while at the NFL Scouting Combine last month. Though it wasn’t expected to affect his draft stock too much, it appeared to have some impact on his status.
Baun produced a monster season in Madison in 2019, collecting 76 tackles with 19.5 for loss and 12.5 sacks during another 10-win season for the Badgers. He also broke up two passes, forced two fumbles and snagged an interception in his final year.
An under-recruited player out of high school, Baun developed into one of the top linebackers in the B1G and in the NFL Draft during his career in Wisconsin. Though he won’t be making first-round money right away, he can still prove he deserved to be a much higher selection in this year’s draft.
In his career at Wisconsin, Baun totaled more than 140 tackles and 30 tackles for loss.