After bursting onto the NFL radar as a Freshman All-American at Notre Dame, former South Florida defensive end Aaron Lynch has seen himself slide further and further down mock drafts with his name out of the spotlight the past two seasons. On Monday he had a chance to show off his athleticism in front of scouts at the Bulls' pro day but left a bit to be desired after coming off an injury.
"I felt like I did good today," Lynch told the Tampa Bay Times afterward. "I came off a pulled hamstring so I wish I would have had another week to get some work on it. I went hard in therapy, I went hard in training and I did good (today)."
Lynch was highly recruited out of high school and earned plenty of praise with a strong first season at Notre Dame. He elected to transfer closer to home however and played just one season at USF after redshirting, racking up five sacks and 29 tackles with the Bulls in 2013.
His potential has far out-weighed his production on the field, but Lynch's mesurables -- particularly his 34-inch arms -- are still attractive to NFL teams and it's possible that he could be a candidate to go earlier than expected come draft time. While there are plenty of on- and off-the-field questions about Lynch, he continues to elicit interest even if the pro day numbers could have been better.
"He's a super-talented athlete with all of the physical tools scouts look for in a defensive end -- long, rangy athlete with long arms and strong hands," NFL Media draft analyst Bucky Brooks said about Lynch. "He's not a polished player at this point, but flashes terrific potential as an edge rusher. Not ideally suited to play as a base end due to his lack of bulk, but he could be an impact situational rusher with a little coaching and polish at the next level."
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Focus has been a knock on Lynch according to several scouting reports, but he's hoping to move past that issue during the pre-draft process by showing teams that he's ready to step up and do what's asked of him at the next level. That includes training in both Florida and Arizona over the next two months and working out at an unfamiliar position.
"A lot of teams want me to play as an outside linebacker. I think I'll be playing outside linebacker in the league, but I can put weight on so I let teams know that I could go up to 270 (pounds)," Lynch said after his workout Monday. "It all depends on how my weight stays. If I stay 250, 260 then I'll probably be at outside linebacker. But I'll play wherever."
Fellow USF defensive ends Tevin Mims and Ryne Giddens were among those that also worked out for pro scouts at the school's football complex on Monday.
Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.