49ers with Matt Barrows

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Rookie Aaron Lynch devouring steaks, blockers at 49ers camp

08/14/2014 9:25 AM

08/14/2014 9:38 AM

Saying a young player is like Aldon Smith is a loaded simile. Smith very well may be the best pass rusher in the league, and he's drawn heaping spoon fulls of praise this summer from everyone from Jim Harbaugh to John Harbaugh to Joe Staley.

So I'll use caution and stick with this: Aaron Lynch has attributes that are similar to Aldon Smith’s. Both are tall, long-limbed and powerful. Smith immediately was a handful for blockers during his inaugural training camp in 2011. (The only one who could handle him was Alex Boone, then a tackle, whose length and long arms seemed to neutralize Smith's).

Lynch has only just started to practice in full after dealing with a hamstring strain suffered in the spring. But he's been a real nuisance to blockers in his short stint, especially smaller offensive linemen who simply can't deal with his power. Lynch and Smith are often seen standing next to each other in practice with the older player giving the younger one tips.

Lynch dropped to the fifth round in the draft partially due to considerable character concerns. He was taken off at least one team's draft board and his most recent strength coach lost his job slamming Lynch after the draft. In addition, he simply didn't look all that strong or motivated at South Florida last year. He was dramatically different and diminished than he was in 2011 when he led Notre Dame in sacks as a freshman.

Lynch was 270 pounds at Notre Dame. He dropped to 246 pounds at South Florida. As a 49er, he's looked a lot more like his Notre Dame self, and perhaps a little more. Lynch said he's up to 276 pounds now.

“We have these amazing chefs here that make whatever you want.” he said. “Like coach Harbaugh says, if you want two steaks, three steaks, take them home with you. I guess that’s how I kind of gained a lot of weight, eating nice steaks and thick salads and things like that.”

Aldon Smith

height: 6-4

weight: 265

Arm length: 35 3/8

hand: 9 3/4

drafted: No. 7 overall (1st) in 2011

Aaron Lynch

height: 6-5

weight: 276

arm: 34

hand: 10 ¼

drafted: No. 150 (5th) in 2014

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About This Blog

Matt Barrows was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Sacramento Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the San Francisco 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green. Reach Barrows at mbarrows@sacbee.com.
Twitter: @mattbarrows

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