Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


Deebo Samuel told former South Carolina teammate Javon Kinlaw he was headed to 49ers

Apr 23, 2020 at 9:46 PM--


It may have just been wishful thinking on the part of San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel. Last year's breakout rookie told his former South Carolina teammate, defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, that they were going to be reunited.

"Deebo called me the other day and told me I was coming to San Francisco, and I just texted Deebo," Kinlaw told reporters during a Zoom conference after the 49ers drafted him on Thursday night. "So, me and Deebo, we've got a pretty good relationship."

It's unlikely that Samuel was privy to any insider information from general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan. The two possibly asked Samuel about his former college teammate as part of their pre-draft evaluation.

There were no reports of the 49ers meeting with or interviewing Kinlaw before the draft, but the team made him the No. 14 overall pick after trading down one spot.

Kinlaw was part of a Bleacher Report AMA earlier this week and was asked which team he most wanted to draft him. He responded by naming the 49ers.

"I think they might've been the best defensive line in football last year," Kinlaw explained. "I'm not just saying that. The way they play, they play the right way. I feel like they play the way the game is supposed to be played."

San Francisco received the No. 13 selection after trading DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts. Now, Kinlaw will try to replace the Pro Bowl defensive tackle.

"I was watching DeForest since he was coming out of college," Kinlaw said. "I know he started off as a raw player, and he developed into a monster. I feel like once I can get that type of coaching, I can probably be somebody like him."

Kinlaw also provided an update on the knee tendinitis that sidelined him during the NFL Scouting Combine, saying it has "healed 100 percent."

"There's no issues," he added.





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