University of South Florida’s strength and conditioning coach Hans Straub reportedly has been suspended for his opinionated tweet in regards to the 49ers selecting fifth-round (No. 150) OLB Aaron Lynch. The tweet which was later removed read, “Thought an organization with 5 Super Bowl titles would have a stricter draft criteria. Clearly, integrity & character are not a priority.” Strong words from a former coach but one that will not go unnoticed.
A highly talented athlete with character concerns off the field as I said had the assessment of him two weeks ago, “Red flags that include character concerns, mental makeup, and commitment to the game, one has to wonder why GM Trent Baalke brought him in for a pre-draft visit. And to add fuel to the fire, Lynch was literally thrown out of one of the NFL team’s interviews for lying at the combine. However, Lynch’s on-field skill set can’t be denied. A speed pass-rusher with violent hands, Lynch would be a pass-rush specialist early on in his career.”
So why did the 49ers take a chance on Lynch? Well the value was there and with USF head coach Willie Taggart being close friends with 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh stemming from their time at Stanford together, Harbaugh decided to roll the dice. Harbaugh spoke on his fifth-round pick and what Taggart had to say about him, he said, “And believes that this is a good young man. Needs direction. Needs a good structure around him where he’s got guys, men that he would look up to. That he would have a chance to emulate. Feels that he’ll thrive in that kind of environment. Said he was extremely good when Willie and his staff got to South Florida and the structure was in place, and practiced every day, and had very good things to say, and had some good tips on what he thought would be in the best interest of the 49ers, and the best interest of Aaron, as well. So, that was very honest, very insightful and thought that this was a youngster that we could reach.”
And with GM Trent Baalke being the one to pull the trigger he had this assessment of Lynch:
“He’s a young man that started his career as you said at Notre Dame and transferred down to South Florida. A good football player. There were reasons why he made the transfer. He did, as he mentioned in his press conference that he held there were some up and downs to it. He’s a young man that has a lot of talent and a lot of traits to work with. He’s young, 21 years old and has a huge arrow up. And, he’s got the keys to the car now and it’s up to him to drive it.”