2018 NFL Draft

South Florida coach suspended for tweet about 49ers' Aaron Lynch

South Florida coach suspended for tweet about 49ers' Aaron Lynch

By Jeff Reynolds | NFLDraftScout.com

University of South Florida strength and conditioning coach Hans Straub was placed on indefinite leave for a questionable message posted to Twitter following the selection of former Bulls defensive end Aaron Lynch.

"Thought an organization with 5 Super Bowl titles would have a stricter draft criteria. Clearly, integrity & character are not a priority," Straub posted via his personal Twitter feed (@CoachStraubUSF) on Saturday.

A fifth-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers, Lynch admits he underachieved at Notre Dame and for USF. But Bulls coach Willie Taggart, who played for Jack Harbaugh at Western Kentucky, gave a strong endorsement of Lynch as a pro prospect and person.

The 49ers hosted Lynch on a private visit last month to investigate his personal and football character and after making the selection, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Lynch "needs direction."

Lynch was a first-team All-American at Notre Dame in 2011, but hasn't played like it since.

"I am a first-round talent," Lynch said. "[But] I've made some mistakes in my past and I figured that's what hurt me a little bit."

Legal and off-field issues have never been a road block for draft picks reaching San Francisco under general manager Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh. Four cornerbacks have been arrested since 2011 and nine players were either arrested or involved in a criminal investigation since January 2012.

Some are no longer with the team. Two Pro Bowl defenders, inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman and outside linebacker Aldon Smith, entered the NFL with character concerns and legal issues in their past.

"I think you need to dig into him a little bit more," Baalke said. "This isn't a young man that has a rap sheet that you're dealing with. He's not a young man that's been in a lot of trouble. He's made some mistakes. He's got to do some things differently. He understands that and we as an organization understand that.

"We have a structure here, a system here, that we feel we can help him. But ultimately it comes down to the individual, as we all know. With Aaron it will be a process, but a process that we're comfortable he will be able to endure and flourish in."

Bowman, an All-American at Penn State whose troubled college days led to his fall to the 91st overall pick in 2010, left his tragic past and off-field concerns in State College and has kept his nose clean in the NFL, ascending to All-Pro status as a sidekick of former first-round pick Patrick Willis.

Smith's saga is ongoing. He has a court appearance for an alcohol-related arrest, another for a firearms citation and potential to be charged for a false bomb threat at Los Angeles International Airport.

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