Saints hopeful that Zack Baun will be a “positionless” star

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The NFC South-reigning New Orleans Saints seem hopeful that rookie linebacker Zach Baun can be a “positionless” star in 2020.

The New Orleans Saints snagged 6-foot-2 Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and they’ve set high expectations on him as he’s set to enter his rookie season in just a few months.

With Alex Anzalone and Demario Davis looking to be the team’s starting outside linebackers, the Saints seem hopeful that Baun can develop into a “positionless” talent that could replace those two or inside linebacker Kiko Alonso if any of the three go down.

As far as positionless, that came from the team’s linebacker coach Michael Hodges, who talked with’s Amie Just about Baun. He also mentioned how he was impressed by Baun who already asked for the team’s meeting and schedule for the offseason.

Can Baun play both inside and outside though? Can he truly be positionless? If he’s anything like he was at Wisconsin in the NFL, then there’s no doubt about it. Baun was incredible this final season and thrived when asked to get in the backfield.

He managed 12.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss. In a couple of his biggest games at the collegiate level, Baun dominated. During the two games against Ohio State and a must-win outing versus nationally-ranked Minnesota, Baun combined for 4.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks.

While things will undoubtedly get harder, Baun seemingly has all the traits it takes to get in the backfield. He was also able to record at least five tackles in seven of his 13 games.

Overall, what Baun showed at the collegiate level may guarantee that he’ll at least be able to deliver crushing blows on the outside. And, at 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, there’s no denying he should have the size to play on the inside as well.

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That said, it’ll be interesting to see how Hodges and the staff develop him into a versatile, positionless talent.