Trent Baalke used the term "calculated chances" when discussing scouting prospects prior to the draft during the team's local pro day.
"It's a risk-reward business…and we try to take chances, calculated chances," said Baalke. "It has worked in some cases. And there's other times where the character of the individual coming into the NFL was sterling but they end being guys that get in trouble."
Aaron Lynch, selected with San Francisco's fifth-round pick, carries with him the stigma of a player with perceived character issues after transferring from Notre Dame to South Florida following the 2011 season.
He was viewed as a selfish player by multiple accounts, but was thought to be a sure-fire first-round talent based on his play with Notre Dame in 2011.
"Everybody's right. I am a first-round talent. But I made some mistakes in my past and I figured that's what hurt me a little bit," Lynch said.
Lynch started six games as a true freshman for the Fighting Irish and was tabbed: "one of the most dominant defensive linemen in college football. Many thought that, by this year, he would challenge Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina for the honor of being the first defensive lineman taken picked in the 2014 draft," wrote Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post in December.
But Lynch transferred to South Florida to be closer to home to deal with some apparent personal issues. He was forced to sit out the 2012 season in accordance to NCAA rules for transfers.
Lynch wasn't the same player in 2013. He reportedly lost 16 pounds after playing as a 260-pound freshman. The weight loss was a product of his prescription to Adderall, he said.
The long defender (34-inch arms) met with the 49ers in a visit leading up to the draft and had nothing but good things to say about the relationships he developed while addressing his character concerns.
"My interaction with all them was amazing. I'm pretty sure that's why they came around and picked me up because we clicked," said Lynch.
Lynch will join the team with an opportunity to become a featured pass rusher in training camp behind starters Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Corey Lemonier and Dan Skuta. If he regains his form from his freshmen season in South Bend, he could become a very good value in the fifth round.
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