Mel Kiper's projected Patriots pick runs into some trouble


Zack Baun is obviously an interesting option for the Patriots when they decide upon their first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

It's why ESPN's Mel Kiper identified the outside linebacker from Wisconsin as his choice to land at No. 23 in his latest Mock Draft, writing:

It's really tough to predict what Bill Belichick is going to do in a draft, but we know that he likes versatile front-seven pieces. That's Baun, who broke out for the Badgers last season with 12.5 sacks and 19.5 total tackles for loss. The Patriots lost linebackers Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts in free agency, so Baun fills a need. Since it appears New England is happy with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer at quarterback, I'll stay away from that position.

But a fly has jumped into the ointment when it comes to Baun's stock.

Baun informed NFL teams Tuesday that he had been identified as having a diluted drug test sample at the NFL Combine.

The NFL Network obtained the letter sent out by the linebacker:

"Zack was genuinely confused, upset and embarrassed by the results given the fact that the 'dilute' was the result of him drinking significant amounts of water before his weigh-in (the urine test occurred immediately thereafter). Zack would welcome the opportunity to speak with any of you about this directly at your fact, he'd be excited to do so."

For more on Baun, click here.


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