The highest rated defensive prospect USF has ever had, Aaron Lynch has made his intentions known and will declare for the 2014 NFL Draft.
Lynch was considered a future first round pick by most analysts before heading to the Bulls after leaving Notre Dame, but his stock has slid considerably following a season where he was ineffective for long stretches. Despite 30 tackles and 12.5 for loss this year, Lynch was also plagued by penalties and bouts of being contained like any other player without double-teams. Early in the year he seemed to struggle in Chuck Bresnahan's system, but as the season wore on he ended up being more of a hybrid-joker type. By the end of the year he was lining up at both defensive end and tackle with a hand on the ground, as well as a linebacker.
If Lynch turns out to still be a solid pro, then was our defense using him correctly? And if he's not a top-tier guy... then what's he doing declaring when another season could have him make more money by returning? Someone is going to get proven wrong here, there's just no other way to put it. And we wonder what Bresnahan, who just finished his first season in college after 20 in the pros, thinks of Lynch's decision. Does he think he's ready, and what will he say to his friends in the NFL?
Lynch's Twitter account indicates he's very excited about flying (first-class!) to Athlete's Performance in Phoenix, which is one of those get-ready-for-the-draft-super-centers most prospects use these days to prepare for the combine. He also said this:
Interesting he feels like he needs to put the weight on to get ready. Lynch was in the 240's this year at USF.
We wish Aaron all the best and thank him for his time at USF. We also hope he's prepared, and his leaving early is a move closer to Jason Pierre-Paul than Darrell Scott.