Round 2, Pick 36: Zack Baun, OLB, Wisconsin
The Giants, like a lot of other teams, need help on the outside of their front seven. It’s going to be a very coveted position, so if they are going to wait until the second round to address it, they have to do extra research to make the right pick.
Zack Baun is a first-round talent that’s going to fall to the second round. He’s a dynamic talent that actually came to Wisconsin as a dual-threat quarterback. In high school, he was Wisconsin’s Offensive Player of the Year. That means a player that’s drafted high in the NFL Draft on defense was once the best person in the entire state at offense.
That kind of versatility is something the Giants and Gettleman will never let get past them. Joe Judge has seen what the Patriots can do with versatile talent, so he’s going to get on board with this pick as well. This is one of the most athletic players outside the first round.
This isn’t to take away from what he’s already proven on defense. In his senior season, Baun made 19.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks. He’s also not back in pass defense, breaking up a couple of passes and recording an interception last season.
The reason the Giants are going to pull the trigger here is it’s clear that Baun hasn’t come close to his ceiling yet. There’s some coaching that would make him one of the very best pass rushers in the league. None of this is a guarantee, but with the Giants still a year or two away from really competing, they can afford to pick someone with this much talent who could be a household name by the time the Giants are back to being one of the league’s best.