Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida (HT: 6’5” WT: 249 lbs)
NFL Comparison: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, Cleveland Browns
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- Possesses physical traits that cannot be taught.
- Uncommon frame with significant length.
- Explosive coming off the ball, frequently the first to contact.
- Noticeably more disciplined than he was as a freshman.
- Finds the ball well with adequate football instincts.
- Laterally quick to attack gaps from head-up alignments.
- Quick, aggressive and violent hands that only need some refinement.
- Has a maneuverable upper body that contorts to slide off the hands of blockers.
- Can flatten out on the corner by dipping his inside shoulder as a speed-rusher.
- Flashes a heavy punch to jolt pass-blockers.
- Rips through the hands of blockers to finish when he gets a step.
- Regular disruptor of the backfield with the ability to split gaps.
- Can control run blocks when he lands his hands, frequent length advantage.
- Accelerates to click and close on the ball in the open field.
- Plays with a high energy level and notable tenacity.
- Comfortable playing from his feet as well as down, did both for South Florida.
- Lean frame from top to bottom that stills needs developing.
- Pad level is consistently higher than his blocker’s.
- Stiff in the legs and the ankles, struggles to play with balance while changing directions or turning corners.
- Doesn’t set up pass-rush moves, still winning solely on natural talent.
- Ineffective power-rusher due to high pads and little power generated from speed.
- Raw moves with an elongated swim and terribly unproductive spin.
- Doesn’t counter pass-blockers who handle his initial move, often just gets stood up.
- Little effectiveness on stunts to the inside against interior pass-blockers.
- Not a stack-and-shed type of end, needs to play off blocks quickly or be moved off the ball.
- Tends to turn his shoulders taking on kickout blocks or even stacking at the line of scrimmage.
- Doesn’t break down in pursuit and may be prone to missing tackles.
- Very little game experience playing from off the ball or dropping in pass coverage.
- Has a bad habit of biting on hard counts and jumping into the neutral zone.
- Played an abnormally low snap count for South Florida in 2013.
- Relatively inexperienced with only two seasons of game experience and a year away at the college level.
- A 4-star prospect as a recruit in 2011, ranked 15th in ESPN150.
- Signed with Notre Dame out of Cape Coral, Fla.
- Transferred from Notre Dame to South Florida after one season in South Bend due to homesickness.
- First-Team Freshman All-American in 2011.
- Reportedly has weight up to 260 in predraft training, as per Mike Loyko of NEPatriotsDraft.com.
Aaron Lynch is the type of prospect whose physical tools and relative inexperience leave a lot of projecting for scouts and analysts alike. Right now, he is a ball of clay just waiting to be developed by an NFL coaching staff into player that people expected after a standout freshman season at Notre Dame.
He obviously struggled to settle in at South Florida in 2013, even after spending a season on the practice field with the team. Lynch’s showing at the NFL combine will have more of an impact on where he lands in the draft than it does for most prospects.
Draft Projection: 2nd-3rd Round