The New Orleans Saints have made some bad draft picks over the past five years, but what team hasn’t? Teams aren’t going to hit on every single pick.
The 2020 NFL Draft, in particular, was really rough on the Saints, however.
In that draft, the Saints only ended up adding four players and none of them have shown much of anything in two years.
The player from that draft that we’re going to talk about today, though, is Zack Baun, who the Saints selected in the third round of the 2020 draft. Baun is who Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report listed as the Saints’ worst draft pick from the last half-decade.
"Last season, the Saints switched Baun to the weak-side linebacker spot, but that move didn’t help boost his production. He finished with 30 tackles and two pressures in primarily a backup role.With the increased use of nickel formations across the league, teams usually field two linebackers on most downs, which limits Baun’s opportunity to flank inside linebacker Demario Davis on the outside with another young linebacker coming along well. Werner had a decent rookie season, recording 62 tackles and four tackles for loss through 15 outings, which included eight starts.Out of his natural position as the third off-ball linebacker in New Orleans, Baun may have to go elsewhere to reach his highest potential."
Zack Baun was not a good draft pick by the Saints.
I remember being really excited about this pick at the time but it has not gone well. That’s actually putting it nicely, as Baun has been a huge disappointment since joining the black and gold.
As Moton noted, the Saints hoped that moving the Wisconsin product to weak-side linebacker would help him excel more in their defense but that didn’t happen. He ended up mostly playing special teams and while he was fine in that department, that’s not what the organization spent a third-round pick on.
The other three picks in that 2020 draft were Cesar Ruiz, Adam Trautman, and Tommy Stevens, none of whom have played well. Ruiz has been a dumpster fire on the offensive line, Trautman has not blossomed into the TE1 that the team was hoping for, and Stevens didn’t even make the roster in 2020. What a horrible draft.
While Baun was a bad pick, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that he was the worst pick by New Orleans. Ruiz was taken higher and has been just as bad, if not worse. Perhaps Moton took into consideration that Ruiz has at least started for the team consistently since entering the league. Baun can’t say the same.
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Who do you think is the worst Saints draft pick over the past five years?