Saints trade up in the draft, select star LB Zach Baun in 3rd round

The New Orleans Saints moved up in the 3rd round, swapping picks with the Cleveland Browns to draft linebacker Zach Baun from Wisconsin.

The New Orleans Saints knew they had a need at linebacker to address and they fulfilled that need by moving up in the 3rd round and selecting their guy Zach Baun with the 74th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Details of the trade preliminarily involve the Saints sending their 88th pick and a future 2021 3rd round pick to Cleveland for the 74th and 244th pick in this year’s draft. It also appears the team will be getting a seventh-round pick as well.

The Saints knew coming into this upcoming year that linebacker would be a key position of need.

Outside of Pro Bowl LB Demario Davis, uncertainty runs thick at this position. Alex Anzalone is slated to be back healthy after having season-ending shoulder surgery that sidelined him after just 4 games.

This prompted the Saints to trade for Kiko Alonso from the Miami Dolphins, although he too suffered a season-ending injury after tearing his ACL for the 3rd time in his career.

Outside of those three, pickings are slim at the linebacker position so adding depth and a potential starter was a must for the Saints.

Baun was is coming off an All American senior season at Wisconsin in which he recorded 19.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks, a few highly impressive numbers. Baun on most draft boards was seen as potentially a 2nd round pick so the Saints are getting tremendous value here.

Since the New Orleans Saints have definite injury and depth issues at the position, Baun may be called upon to start early in the season. His hybrid ability to play both defensive end and outside linebacker may prove to be most effective in seeing the field early on and contributing right away.

Next: Saints take center Cesar Ruiz in first round

This was tremendous value in the middle of the third round.