Pro football: Ex-Irish Lynch to enter NFL Draft

SBT Staff Report
ND Insider

Former Notre Dame defensive end Aaron Lynch put a period on an uneven college career Tuesday when the now-University of South Florida junior declared for the 2014 NFL Draft.

In doing so, the 6-foot-6, 244-pounder from Cape Coral, Fla., foregoes his final two years of college eligibility and begins his quest to repair his sliding draft stock.

Once considered a probable first-rounder prior to this season, Lynch’s breathtaking skill set combined with an inconsistent work ethic have puzzled talent evaluators. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. recently rated Lynch as the seventh-best defensive end prospect among underclassmen.

Lynch left ND in the spring of 2012 after earning freshman All-America honors. He sat out the 2012 season while the Irish were making a run to the BCS National Championship Game, and resumed his career this fall, 26 pounds lighter.

USF finished 2-10.

The two other rising prospects on the Irish defensive line that Lynch left behind, nose guard Louis Nix and end Stephon Tuitt, are both projected as going in the first half of the first round in May.

Nix has declared for the NFL Draft.

Tuitt has not yet announced his decision.

He has until Jan. 15 to do so.