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Potential Bengals target Zack Baun tested positive for diluted sample at NFL Combine

Not great, but not as costly under the NFL’s new CBA.

NFL Combine - Day 5 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

With the NFL Draft just a week away, one of this year’s top linebackers just had a red flag emerge at the worst possible time.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Zack Baun (it’s Zack, not Zach) tested positive for a diluted sample at the NFL Scouting Combine. That previously counted as a positive test in the NFL’s eyes, but because of new changes made to the CBA, it won’t count as a positive test strike against Baun.

Diluted urine samples raise a red flag because drinking lots of water can be used to prevent drug testing from detecting banned substances in the urine. That’s why a diluted sample results in a positive test.

Under the old CBA, a positive first test meant a referral to the league’s substance abuse program as soon as he entered the NFL. But that’s no longer the case, so it will be interesting to see how much, if any effect this has on Baun’s eventual draft spot.

We wrote about Baun as a potential Bengals target with the 3rd overall pick. He’s projected to go in the first round, but this positive test could hurt his stock enough that he falls into Day 2 of the draft.

If that happens, should the Bengals pounce in Round 2?