Aaron Lynch began his career by hitting the ground running. He recorded 12.5 sacks in his first two years in the league and led the 49ers in sacks in 2015 with a career-high of 6.5.
However, last season was a difficult one for the South Florida product. Lynch was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Once reinstated, he was unable to make a difference as he was only able to post 1.5 sacks while also being injury-ridden for most of the season.
Now with the offseason happening Lynch has reportedly come back 20 pounds overweight. He will still be a part of the 49ers’ plans moving forward; although there is some cause for concern as to how the 49ers will implement the four-year veteran.
How will the 49ers use Aaron Lynch?
The 49ers are switching to the Seahawks’ defensive concept of a 4-3 base defense with a 3-4 philosophy. Therefore, one of the team’s outside linebacker’s will have to go from a standing up pass rushing method to a three-technique. This position is called the LEO. The same that has been used by Bruce Irvin in Seattle and currently by Frank Clark with the Seahawks.
If Lynch wants to be best utilized in this system, then he will need to convert to this playing style immediately. A defensive lineman like Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas or even Quinton Dial could be installed into this. Even a player like Tank Carradine or Eli Harold could fit this role if need be.
The best way for Lynch to gain this spot and to avoid being cut is by shedding the weight that he has gained. If he can go back to a more leaner build then, it will help him keep a spot on the roster, and continue to make an impact in the starting lineup.
More importantly, Lynch needs to avoid getting into any more trouble. He has a history of it dating back to his time at Notre Dame and even to now in the pros. The 49ers do not want another incident involving Lynch. Otherwise, he will find himself in the same position as Tramaine Brock.