Wisconsin OLB Zach Baun has been a hot name since testing well at the NFL Combine, quickly establishing himself as a popular pick in the first two days of many mock drafts.
While his ascent has been continuous since February, it may take a hit after he reported to all NFL teams that he tested positive for a diluted drug test sample, per Adam Schefter.
Wisconsin’s Zach Baun, the third-rated linebacker on Mel Kiper Jr.’s board, notified all 32 teams that he testified positive for a diluted sample at the combine that he blamed on drinking too much water for weight-related weigh-in purposes, per league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 14, 2020
Question of the day: Will Baun’s diluted sample affect his draft stock?
My answer: Probably not enough to notice.
Baun is a great athlete at a prized position. He comes from a school known to produce high-quality and high-character prospects. This is his first strike, and it wasn’t even a positive test. His excuse is very plausible too—Baun is a tad undersized for an outside linebacker, weighing in at the combine at 238 pounds. At that weight, you need to carry all the water weight for weigh-ins that you can, so I don’t blame him at all.
Additionally, new NFL league rules suggest he won’t be dinged by this test as other athletes had under the old Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Here’s an interesting twist regarding Zach Baun testing positive for a diluted sample at combine: Under the NFL’s new CBA, it will not count as a strike against him whereas it would have under the NFL’s old CBA. Therefore, teams don’t believe it will impact his draft status much. https://t.co/Xw8Q7dTqqb— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 14, 2020
All things considered, it’s easy to give him the benefit of the doubt, and with many teams out of 32 longing for a solid, athletic outside linebacker, all it takes is one team to trust his story and it’ll look like it never even happened.