The NFL Draft’s first round kicks off in 14 days and the Dallas Cowboys and the rest of the league are doing their best to get as much information on these players as they can before they go on the clock. With COVID-19 social-distancing orders and recommendations in place in much of the United States, the Dallas Cowboys and the rest of the NFL are having to figure out creative ways to meet with these players to get a better read on who they might select in the draft.
According to Bobby Belt, of the Boys and Girl Podcast, NFL teams are allowed to meet with three players a week virtually. This will limit teams to roughly 18 virtual visits before the NFL Draft, which starts April 23rd.
Yesterday, the Dallas Cowboys “met” with Wisconsin EDGE rusher Zack Baun.
The #DallasCowboys continued their virtual #NFLDraft prep interviewing Wisconsin LB Zack Baun. Stay tuned for more interviews to come. #StayHomeStayStrong https://t.co/J0c4JdHgFy
Though most people see Zack Baun as a late first-round option, the Dallas Cowboys could select him at 17 and use him in both 3-4 and 4-3 rush alignments. Like K’lavion Chaisson, Baun can stand up and rush from the edge or put his hand in the ground and rush as well.
As you can see from his career at Wisconsin, he had two interceptions and four pass deflections to go along with three forced fumbles. He’s a playmaker from the edge. In 2019 he had 12.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss, which is elite production from the college level. Sure, it’s only one season of elite production, but his athletic profile matched with his pass rush technique makes him a player many are considering in the first round, including the Dallas Cowboys.
He’s not simply a flash either.
As he mentioned in his interview with the Dallas Cowboys, having a high motor is the best compliment someone could give him. As that was a question with the last edge player the Cowboys drafted in the first round, Will McClay and Jerry Jones should be excited about a player who thinks having a high motor is the highest praise one could get.
His above-average speed and agility, combined with his motor should allow him to continue to improve upon an already solid base.
Defensive line aficionado from Sports Day at the Dallas Morning News, John Owning believes Zack Baun to be the second-best pass rusher in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Zack Baun, imo, deserves consideration at 17 and I double-dog dare you to convince me otherwise https://t.co/BT2uduq1sI
It’s hard to say at this point exactly what direction the Dallas Cowboys are going to go at 17 and it’s made incredibly more difficult with the lack of predraft visits and workouts they’ll be hosting and attending. However, these meetings give us a bit of a glimpse into what they’re considering in the first round. Other years when they could go to college campuses for Pro Days, have Dallas Day, and schedule “30 visits,” it was a bit murkier which way they were leaning in the first round.
Even with the signing of Aldon Smith, the potential return of Randy Gregory, and Dorance Armstrong in tow, the Cowboys continue to look for impact edge rushers to solidify their pass rush. Mike McCarthy has said that pass rush will be a priority. Adding a player like Baun who profiles similarly to a former McCarthy player, Clay Matthews, makes a lot of sense in a Mike Nolan defense that wants to provide multiple looks upfront.