The Bengals have done a makeover on defense this offseason, adding key new players on the defensive line and in the secondary. Despite adding former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Josh Bynes, the linebacker position is the position that could still use the most work in the draft. That’s where Wisconsin standout Zack Baun comes in.
Baun is not your typical linebacker. He would do a lot of moving around in the Bengals front seven, making him a valuable chess piece for defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo. He could be deployed as a pass rusher coming off the edge or he could be used as an off-ball linebacker. One of Baun’s most valuable assets he would bring to Cincinnati would be his versatility, which would be sure to keep offensive coordinators guessing.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com has Clay Matthews as Baun’s NFL comparison. If that is an accurate comparison and Baun can be anywhere near the player Matthews was for the Green Bay Packers, the Bengals front seven could be dangerous.
There are a lot of routes the front office could take with the 33rd pick. Being the first pick of the second round there are likely to be at least one or two players who were supposed to go in the first round that could fall into the Bengals lap. The Bengals could find immense value with this pick or trade the pick to a team willing to give them additional draft picks.