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May 10, 2014
Fifth round: 49ers tap pass rusher Aaron Lynch, cornerback Reaser


No. 150. Aaron Lynch, OLB, South Florida.

Lynch was one of the 30 prospects who visited the 49ers in Santa Clara last month likely because the team wanted to answer questions about his character. Lynch transferred from Notre Dame after earning first-team Freshman All-American honors in 2011 and sat out 2012. His weight dropped to 240 pounds at that time because he said he was taking Adderall, which suppressed his appetite. He said he's back to 255 pounds now and that he's at his best at 260 pounds.

Lynch said he's known 49ers linebacker coach Jim Leavitt since high school and that he spent a lot of time with Leavitt and general manager Trent Baalke during his visit. He praised the 49ers for taking time to learn about him. One of the critiques of Lynch is that he was lazy and underachieved at South Florida. Some draft observers thought that talent-wise, Lynch projects to a first-round selection. "I am a first-round talent," Lynch said. "I made some mistakes in my past and I figure that hurt me a little bit."

Lynch has excellent length and long arms (34 inches). He was a first-team all-conference selection last season after finishing with six sacks and 12 1/2 tackles for loss. Like last year with Corey Lemonier, the 49ers drafted a tall, ex-defensive end at the position. Lynch will compete with Dan Skuta and Lemonier for playing time. With Aldon Smith likely to serve a suspension in 2014, those players conceivably will be battling for a starting spot.

Lynch was recruited by Leavitt and played at South Florida for coach Willie Taggart, a former assistant at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh and one of Harbaugh's closest friends (Harbaugh was the best man at Taggart's wedding). Lynch should benefit from Leavitt's tutelage as well as that of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who coaches the team's outside linebackers. "This is my dream," he said. "I don't know how to express myself right now. This is amazing. First round, third round, it doesn't matter."

No. 170. Keith Reaser, CB, Florida Atlantic. Reaser is a member of the 49ers' ever-growing All-ACL team. The speedy cornerback tore his ACL six games into the season in October, then had to have a second surgery in February when his body rejected the cadaver ligament initially used to repair the tear. Like third-round pick Brandon Thomas, Reaser is unlikely to play in 2014 and his rookie-year salary should toll to 2015. Reaser (5-10, 189) has good athleticism and nice strength.

He said he ran a 4.32-second 40-yard dash at Florida Atlantic last year, and he has kick-return experience in college. Of course, he couldn't run at the scouting combine in February but was able to do 22 repetitions on the bench press. Reaser was one of the players who went back to Indianapolis for a medical checkup last month. "Everything's cleared up now," he said on a conference call. "So I should be good to go."

-- Matt Barrows


Matt 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 Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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