The Houston Texans’ draft plan might land them a pass rusher with one of their two second-round picks on Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The 2020 NFL Draft projection of Zack Baun has been one heck of a roller coaster ride, and depending on which mock draft you look at, the Houston Texans draft could potentially have the pass rusher fall to them at either 40th overall or even later in the round at 57th overall.
There is no exact science to this draft or most likely the Texans draft either because there weren’t many pro days, there weren’t as many in-person interviews, and the draft this year all will be done remotely by head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien.
These are strange times to say the least, and that can also describe the draft projection of Baun, as the Wisconsin Badger pass rusher as he’s been mocked in the later stages of the first round all the way to the 56th overall pick in another mock draft, which is one pick before the Texans’ second pick in that round.
Who is to say where Baun will land, but if he were to fall into the laps of the Texans, would they draft the pass rusher from Wisconsin, because that has worked for them around a decade ago. As a linebacker at Wisconsin, not only is Baun is coming off a season where he recorded 12.5 sacks on the Wisconsin defense, but he had 17.5 tackles for loss.
Those numbers are important because even though linebacker isn’t the greatest need for the Texans, pass rusher is, so Baun has to be a second-round interest, if he even makes it that far. What is exciting about Baun and the Texans draft prospect of possibly selecting him is how Lance Zierlen of NFL.com describes Baun in his draft profile as a “a scheme-diverse linebacker.”
That is something all teams want to see from a draft prospect because when a player can play in any type of scheme, well, the chances of the player being on the field greatly improve.
The Texans are far from being perfect at linebacker, with Whitney Mercilus and Brennan Scarlett being the outside linebackers, with Jacob Martin and Duke Ejiofor as the top backups at that position. Adding a young player like Baun into the mix would make things better depth wise, plus maybe bring out better competition between the current group of linebackers on the roster.
All of that said, Baun isn’t the perfect player either with Zierlein also saying that Baun “lacks desired size of a full-time, NFL edge rusher.” That is an important point as well as Baun is 6’2, 238 pounds, and for good measure he ran a 4.65 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in February, and had 24 reps at bench press.
Though it might be doubtful the Texans select a linebacker in the second round of the draft, it is still fun and thought-provoking to see if a player like Baun would fit well with the current Texans defense. As it seems like he would produce with the Texans, the need and want for Baun are two different things.
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The Texans need a pass rush from the edge, but let’s say the Texans take a wide receiver at 40th overall. W
ould the Texans draft plan have them go with secondary in the second round, or a pass rusher? That is the big question, and if all the chips were on the table, the belief here at least is the Texans go pass rush, but a lot hangs on for Baun is how well he can attack from the edge in the NFL.
If the Texans draft decision makers believe that is possible, the Wisconsin star Baun could become one of the newest draft choices on the Houston roster.