As a fifth round draft pick from South Florida in 2014, Lynch played in all 16 games as a rookie for then ‘Niners defensive coordinator Vic Fangio at outside linebacker in 2014. The 25-year old Lynch was listed at 6’6”, 270 pounds last year when he played defensive end in their 4-3 defense.
Lynch came into the NFL around 250 pounds, so it’s possible the Bears will have him stand back up and play from a 2-point stance at outside linebacker.
He picked up six sacks as a rookie, then six and a half in 2015 while starting 14 games, but the next two years he was held to only 14 games total and 2.5 more sacks. He struggled with injuries, he was a healthy scratch last year, but there was also a four game substance abuse suspension in 2016.
In Patti’s fantastic Number Mill series, she had Lynch as the top pass rushing edge left on the market with a 4.0 Sack Attack Quotient (SAQ).
I reached out to David Fucillo, Niners Nation site manager and SB Nation NFL producer, to get his take on Lynch.
Lynch is a very talented pass rusher, but he’s long struggled with consistency issues. He has had issues staying in shape, regularly showing up out of shape following the offseason. He had a 4-game substance abuse suspension in 2016, and generally has just struggled to find his way onto the field the past two seasons. I actually think going back to Vic Fangio will be good for him. Fangio was his DC as a rookie, and I feel like he won’t take BS from Lynch. That could bode well for him getting his career on track.
EDIT: Lynch’s deal is reported to be for $6 million, and that’s the kind of money you pay a guy you expect to start, or at the vert least, be a big part of your OLB rotation.