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Baylor DL dedicates combine bench press to charity

The NFL Scouting Combine represents a chance for potential draftees to impress coaches and front offices, get prodded by medical examiners and display some drill-work chops.

Baylor defensive lineman James Lynch is adding a twist to his combine experience next week: a philanthropic element.

Lynch announced Wednesday he is raising money to help support Uplifting Athletes in its goal to inspire the rare disease community. The prospect is raising pledges for each bench press rep performed during the combine, with a goal of 20.

In three years at Baylor, Lynch compiled 100 tackles and 20 sacks. NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein compared the defensive lineman to the perennially underrated Matt Ioannidis of the Washington Redskins, noting Lynch owns a thick, burly frame with an explosive upper body. All those traits bode well to hit his bench press mark.

Lynch isn't the only prospect dedicating a portion of his combine workout to charity. Michigan State defensive tackle Raequan Williams is raising money to help support Breakthrough Urban Ministries in Chicago by pledging for each inch of his vertical leap. MSU alum and Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins announced earlier this month he will match the total amount Williams raises.

NFL Network is airing the combine in primetime this year, beginning Thursday, Feb. 27, and running through Saturday from 4 p.m. ET through 11 p.m. ET each day.

Lynch and the other defensive lineman will perform their on-field workouts on Saturday.

It's a brilliant move for Lynch, which will surely score points with front offices, and hopefully help a good cause.

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