How Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun fits the Kansas City Chiefs’ need for a versatile and technically-sound linebacker role.
The Kansas City Chiefs should be looking to improve the second level of the defense this offseason. With a linebacker core littered with thumpers, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo desperately needs one that can play well in coverage. He also needs someone versatile enough to stay on the field past obvious running downs and play multiple positions.
Insert Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun. Before becoming a linebacker for Wisconsin, Baun played quarterback in high school. He also took part in track and was a state champion in basketball. While still adjusting to his new linebacker role, the multi-sports experience flashes when turning on his tape.
Baun missed the 2017 season with a left foot injury. He had a solid 2018 season, but his final season was when he broke onto the scene. In 2019, Baun led the team in solo tackles (52), tackles for a loss(19.5), and sacks off the edge (12.5). One year of production will bring some questions surrounding the athletic linebacker, but the potential for the Wisconsin Badger is exciting to think about.
While Baun spent most of his time as an edge rusher for the Badgers in 2019, that wouldn’t be his primary role in Kansas City. Standing at 6-foot-2, 238 pounds, Baun would be more of an off-ball linebacker or SAM linebacker lining up on the line of scrimmage outside of the defensive end. Given the lack of size and length, and pairing that with his ability to diagnose plays, off-ball linebacker would be a great fit.