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Is Zack Baun ready to become a contributor to the Saints defense?

zack baun

When linebacker Zack Baun was selected in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, many expected him to elevate the Saints linebacker group. So far, that has not happened. In Baun’s rookie season, the majority of his time was spent on special teams. The standout linebacker out of Wisconsin only saw 82 snaps as a member of the defensive unit.

Baun played in more of an edge rusher role dating back to his collegiate career, even though his natural position was a linebacker. He is highly proficient at getting after the quarterback, but the Saints wanted Baun in a role that showcased him being a traditional linebacker.

However, due to not having a normal offseason workout program and training camp because of the pandemic, Baun’s development was limited. But all hope is not lost for Baun; there’s still an opportunity for him to become a key player on the Saints’ defense. According to New Orleans.Football’s Nick Underhill, Baun will now be switching over to the weak side linebacker position.

He will also be competing with this year’s second-round selection Pete Werner for potential playing time on the field. People may view Baun as taking another step back in his career at the pro level, but the offseason workout program combined with training camp could change everything.

The best way for players to excel at new positions on the field is by studying, repetition, and initiative to learn the ins and outs of the role. The overall reduction in coronavirus cases has allowed the NFL to resume normal offseason activities.

That factor by itself plays into the favor of Baun grasping the concept of the position. While Werner may be a natural fit for the role, Baun’s versatility can give him the edge over the former Ohio State linebacker. Overall, the battle will be won through training camp and the level of production seen in the team’s three preseason games. Last season we saw how vital the linebacker position was after the Saints decided to trade for Kwon Alexander.

His contributions led to the Saints becoming one of the NFL’s best units on defense. Unless Alexander is brought back onto the team, the linebacker position will have question marks outside of Demario Davis. Players such as Kaden Ellis and Chase Young have not been on the field enough to be recognized as lock-in contributors at the position. Based on observations, Baun may have a one-year audition to show that he can impact the Saints defense in some level of capacity.

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Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

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