USF third-year sophomore defensive end Aaron Lynch has announced his intentions to declare for the 2014 NFL draft, school officials confirmed Tuesday.
"If he performs well at the combine and in private workouts, he will shoot up the charts because coaches will be fascinated by his upside and potential," NFL Media draft analyst Bucky Brooks said.
Lynch (6-foot-6, 244 pounds) began his career at Notre Dame in 2011, then transferred to USF to be closer to his home in Fort Myers, Fla. He played one season at USF, leading the Bulls in sacks with five. He also had 29 tackles.
Lynch is a good athlete with speed off the edge, but his production did not match his potential in his two college seasons. His athleticism means he should test well in his pre-draft scouting events.
"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," Brooks said. "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.
"If Dion Jordon and Barkevious Mingo can go early in the first round despite raw, unrefined skills, I could see Lynch grading out as a top-of-the-second-round prospect at this stage of the process."