DL James Lynch, Baylor*

6’4” – 289 lbs. – 5.01

Rotated into the defense over eleven games as a true freshman, finishing with a 19-5.0-2.0 line, then stepped into a starting role the following year and went 40-8.5-4.5. Broke out this past year to the tune of 41-19.5-13.5, then declared for the draft. Has a somewhat strange build, being taller than your average defensive lineman, but with short arms which measured just under 32” at the Combine; overall frame is closer to that one of a five-technique than an interior lineman, and that’s also where he lined up at the college level, with only a few snaps inside.

Was a real handful for opposing linemen on passing downs last year and drew some extra attention at times. Has impressive get-off at the line of scrimmage for a player with his size. Fires out with a low pad level and is capable of threatening the B gap; uses a good swim move. Has more of a gap-shooting approach but is pretty good about placing his hands and generating push with his bull-rush and ragdolling opposing tackles with heavy hands. Demonstrates a good level of activity when his initial rush doesn’t work. Not a major threat to win the edge with speed but flashes the ability to dip his shoulder a little bit on the edge. When he finds a clear lane to the passer, has the closing burst to finish his rushes with sacks.

Not quite as impressive in the run game, where his aggressive, attacking mentality and rush-first approach are a double-edged sword. At his best, can use his explosiveness at the line to squeeze between the tackle and the guard and blow up plays in the backfield. Also capable of barreling into blockers and creating congestion in the backfield to disrupt attempts. Demonstrates a strong motor in pursuit, and impressive straight-line speed for a big man to chase down ballcarriers. However, although he flashes the ability to get his arms extended and set the edge, can sometimes be taken advantage of when he tries to penetrate on the inside, creating lanes for outside rushing attempts or scrambles. May struggle in a two-gap scheme because it works against his natural inclinations, and because his length and anchor aren’t ideal.

Any defensive lineman with his combination of size, explosiveness, physicality, and production is going to draw interest; looks like a second-day prospect for a team with an aggressive, penetrating defensive front, most likely for an odd front or as a jumbo defensive end on a four-man line.

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