Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

49ers’ Kyle Shanahan happy with Brandon Aiyuk and Javon Kinlaw, would draft them again

Dec 18, 2020 at 10:30 AM--

We're not too far removed from the 2020 NFL Draft, but if San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan had to do the first round again, he wouldn't change a thing.

San Francisco used its first selection, the No. 14 overall pick, on defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw. It used its second selection of the round, the No. 25 overall pick, to add wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. The two were expected to at least partially make up for the losses of veterans DeForest Buckner and Emmanuel Sanders.

It sounds like the 49ers coach is pretty happy with how things turned out.

"If we had to do everything over again, there would be zero hesitation with the same two guys," Shanahan said Friday morning on KNBR's Murph & Mac show. "Going into that draft, we didn't have many picks, and we pretty much had the same team returning, so we knew losing a guy like Buckner, and losing a guy like Emmanuel, two big-time players — but really, keeping the rest of our team, that was a very good team — we knew we had to hit on those guys, especially not having many other picks.

"To be able to hit on guys who are capable, coming in, and definitely not replacing those guys — you can't replace veterans like that right away — but they were guys who could come in and at least do the job, and guys that I know are going to get better each year because they're made of the right stuff."

Aiyuk has racked up 660 receiving yards, four receiving touchdowns, and two rushing scores. He has a chance to break Jerry Rice's team record for the most receiving yards by a rookie.

Kinlaw only has 1.5 sacks this season but has shown flashes of dominant play along the interior of an injury-ravaged defensive line.

"They've had a good rookie year. It's not done yet," Shanahan continued. "They need to make sure they finish out these three weeks, continue to get better, and I really look forward to them being part of the Niners for a long time because I know we've got the right guys."

With Buckner dominating in Indianapolis, there has been some debate about whether the 49ers made the right decision in trading him to the Colts. Kinlaw hasn't proven to be the same type of force inside, but was considered a raw prospect coming out of college.

Shanahan isn't too concerned about Kinlaw's low sack numbers. He knows the stats will come with time.

"You always want to see more of the sacks and stuff, but that's not totally how I judge people, especially early," Shanahan explained. "People get way too caught up in that stuff, I think. I mean, Buck's one of the best D-linemen in the league and having a very high year, but I think he only had [2.5] sacks until he got two (more) two weekends ago. So, it's not all about sacks. It's about how you wreck the game, the problems you cause inside, and that's why (interior) D-linemen usually don't get high sacks.

"Aaron Donald is kind of the exception to that. J.J. Watt was (too), at one time. Besides that, that's usually how inside players go, and the more he plays, the more his stats will get better. And the more we can get some of our edge rushers back next year, like [Nick Bosa], Dee Ford, and stuff, then you'll see, I think, a lot more production from everybody."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Shanahan below.

Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

49ers Notebook: OL Spencer Burford looks ahead to starting; WR Ray-Ray McCloud's reflections on Kyle Shanahan; Shanahan pleased with Javon Kinlaw

By Kirk Larrabee
21 hrs

The 49ers are just three days away from their preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers (8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT, Friday), a game that will give 49ers fans the chance to see a number of their team's players in on-field action for the first time. Two particular newcomers of interest to keep an eye on Friday night will be offensive lineman Spencer Burford and wide receiver/return specialist Ray-Ray McCloud. Burford is progressing towards starting as a rookie at right guard after being selected by the 49ers in Round 4 of the 2022 NFL Draft, while McCloud will be making his 49ers preseason debut after signing with the team as a free agent in the offseason. McCloud is expected to be the primary return specialist for the 49ers this season, but there's a chance he could also

Kyle Shanahan praises improved 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk

By David Bonilla
Aug 7

Watch out, NFL. San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk has been the star of training camp. If that carries over into the regular season, second-year quarterback Trey Lance will have two player-makers at his disposal at wide receiver in Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. Last offseason, things weren't trending well for Aiyuk. The receiver seemed to be in head coach Kyle Shanahan's dog house and wasn't even a Week 1 starter. He caught just one pass for six yards in the 49ers' first two games. By the end of the season, though, Aiyuk was showing his potential. He caught six receptions for a season-high 107 yards in the team's Week 18 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. Aiyuk spent a lot of time this offseason with his new starting quarterback, Lance. The

Kyle Shanahan on KNBR: 49ers coach talks Trey Lance, Brandon Aiyuk, beef with NFL about hats

By David Bonilla
3 hrs

The 2022 NFL season approaches. That means the return of San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan's regular interviews on Bay Area radio station KNBR. The conversation started with his quarterback, Trey Lance, and then moved on to other topics like wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and Shanahan's beef with the NFL over hat rules. First, Shanahan was asked about his relationship with Lance. The quarterback is entering his second NFL season and first as a full-time starter. RELATED: 49ers CB Charvarius Ward sidelined a couple of weeks with muscle strain, says Kyle Shanahan "Our relationship is great," Shanahan said. "It's always

49ers DL Arik Armstead sidelined with knee sprain; DT Javon Kinlaw, OL Mike McGlinchey to return to team drills soon

By Kirk Larrabee
Jul 29

The 49ers have their first notable injury of this year's training camp, but it doesn't sound like it's something of a serious nature. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan revealed Friday morning that defensive lineman Arik Armstead sprained his MCL at practice this week and that it could require some time to recover. Armstead was missing at practice on Thursday and could be out for a while. "It's probably going to be a few weeks. Nothing we're concerned about, but we're taking some time away," Shanahan said. Shanahan said Armstead took a bruise during practice that wasn't an issue at first but flared up after practice. After going through examinations, the 49ers decided to put Armstead on the sidelines. "It didn't bother him that bad but it


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone