Baylor's James Lynch Drafted by Minnesota in the Fourth Round

Published: Apr. 26, 2020 at 8:52 AM CDT
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Defensive tackle James Lynch was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the 120th pick overall, on day three of the draft.

Lynch is just the 10th Bear at his position to be drafted and the first since Phil Taylor went in the first round to Cleveland in 2011.

He is just the fifth to be drafted to Minnesota out of Waco and the first since linebacker Ray Berry 1987.

Lynch earned unanimous All-America honors in 2019, the first Bear since 2015 and just the 10th Bear overall to earn the prestigious honor. The junior was only the fourth Bear from the defensive side of the ball to be a consensus All-America honoree.

Lynch was the 2019 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year (AP and coaches) and Big 12 Lineman of the Year (coaches), leading the conference with 13.5 sacks, good for sixth-most nationally and a single-season Baylor record. He also ranked second in the conference with 19.5 tackles-for-loss on the year, good for third-most in program single-season history. His three forced fumbles were second-most in the Big 12 and his two fumbles recovered were fifth most. Overall, through 14 games played, the Round Rock, Texas, native amassed 41 total tackles.

Lynch was also a finalist for the Hendricks Award, given to the nation's top defensive lineman and was on the preseason watch lists for the Outland Trophy and the Bednarik Award. He was named the Dave Campbell Texas Football Texas Colleges Player of the Year and was a First Team All-Big 12 honoree. In addition to his consensus All-America honors, he also earned First Team All-America honors from ESPN and The Athletic and Second Team All-America honors from Sports Illustrated.

In three seasons in Waco, Lynch set a new Baylor record with 22.0 total sacks and ranks seventh with 33.5 career tackles-for-loss. He finished his collegiate career with 101 total tackles, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and three blocked kicks.

Lynch is the second Bear to be taken in the 2020 draft, following wide receiver Denzel Mims’ second-round selection to the New York Jets. The two draft picks so far are the most since 2016 for the Bears.

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