San Francisco 49ers

Rookie Aaron Lynch devouring steaks, blockers at 49ers camp

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


Hope you worked extra hard early this morning and can afford to take a one-hour break starting at 11 a.m. That’s when we’ll hold a 49ers Fireside Chat.While participating, simply hold your phone to your ear and say things like, “That’ll work,” “Can do!” and “Gee, we’re booked solid that day” every so often. Your boss will think you’re hard at work and no one will bother you.