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Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Trent Williams says 49ers rookie Javon Kinlaw has ‘Defensive Player of the Year written all over him’

Sep 3, 2020 at 2:25 PM--

Some worry about defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw's up and down performances in training camp. The bottom line is that the defender is a rookie who lacked a full offseason to sharpen his technique in preparation for facing NFL-level competition. He hasn't even taken a regular-season snap yet, so it may be too early to judge anything.

The San Francisco 49ers knew what they were getting in Kinlaw — a raw but powerful defender with tons of potential. They likely weren't expecting the rookie to come out of the gate playing at a Pro Bowl level.

Kinlaw admits that he has room for improvement. He was asked last month to assess his play in training camp.

"I'd be lying if I (said I) thought it was good, but I'm making improvements," Kinlaw responded. "That's the main thing. Just get better day by day. That's all I'm really trying to do. I knew, coming in, that it wasn't going to be easy, so I already had prepared myself for that. I see the improvements daily."

Don't count seven-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Trent Williams among those who doubt Kinlaw's potential. The veteran joined KNBR on Thursday and offered his thoughts on what it's like facing Kinlaw in practice. Williams doesn't get any one-on-one work against Kinlaw. He does, however, occasionally face him during team drills.

"He's a ton, man," Williams told Greg Papa and John Lund. "He's a lot to deal with. Even when he's pulling up, and kind of pulling off his rush, you still feel that power, you still feel that size. You can't really teach that. You can't coach that.

"I think he's going to be a heck of a player. I tell him all the time he's got Defensive Player of the Year written all over him. Getting with the D-line coach that they have, which is probably the best in the land with (Kris) Kocurek, I honestly feel like he's going to turn him into a nightmare in this NFL."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Williams below.

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