No. 2: Aaron Lynch Swaps to SAM Linebacker
This is a bit more of an out-of-the-box thought.
Currently, the 49ers are pegging veteran Ahmad Brooks as the SAM, or strong-side, linebacker for 2017. SAM linebackers frequently are asked to cover tight ends and offer some pass rush from the opposite side of the line from the LEO.
It’s not Lynch’s natural position, although his body type — if he can get his weight down — is enough to suggest he can handle coverage duties.
Pro Football Focus backs this up as well, as Lynch’s pass-coverage grade (69.2) was only slightly lower than Brooks’ (72.4).
The thing to consider with Brooks is he is 33 years old, and his best playing days are long behind him. Lynch, on the other hand, is only 24 years old and just hitting what would be the prime of his career.
Moving positions — and entering a platoon role with Brooks — would require some adjustment, and who knows if Lynch would be up for the task.
But with a bit of a logjam at LEO, the thought of maximizing Lynch’s on-field potential and impact, especially as an eventual replacement for Brooks, is somewhat enticing.