Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

DeMeco Ryans on 49ers DT Javon Kinlaw: “He’s going to take a huge jump this year”

Jun 2, 2021 at 3:03 PM--

Today, DeMeco Ryans spoke with the media for the first time since being named the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator in January. One of the discussion topics was second-year defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, who was the No. 14 overall pick last year.

Ryans is expecting big things from his 6-foot-5 and nearly 320-pound defensive lineman.

"Kinlaw, he's looking awesome," the coach told reporters. "I think it's really vital for him to really have these OTAs, and it's been great that all our guys have showed up, and we've been able to practice.

"Kinlaw is able to really hone in and focus on his techniques, which he missed coming in as a rookie. OTAs are very, very important. For him to miss that time last year, I think he's going to take a huge jump this year."

Kinlaw feels that finally being able to participate in organized team activities (OTAs) will be rewarding for his development as a player.

"It's been very valuable in the aspect of just being around the guys, just getting a better feel for everybody," said Kinlaw, who also spoke with reporters. "I've probably been here since February, so that's been great. These OTAs have been very key for me."

It's not just the bonding with his teammates that has been beneficial. Ryans feels that the extra time allows the 49ers to work on specific fundamentals to help Kinlaw take his game to the next level.

"We're able to slow things down and really emphasize footwork, hand placement, and technique, eyes," Ryans said, "and he's been doing an awesome job. I can already see how much better he's gotten in the couple of weeks that we've been together."

Kinlaw recorded 33 tackles, three tackles for a loss, four quarterback hits, 1.5 sacks, a pick-six, and four passes defensed through 14 games as a rookie. The defensive lineman was able to identify one other area of focus this offseason.

"Really just my mentality overall," Kinlaw said. "... Just what I'm taking towards the game every day, how I want to approach practice every day, what I want to work on and things like that. Just my mentality."

Ryans isn't the only one expecting big things from Kinlaw. The young player's new defensive teammate, Samson Ebukam, also thinks highly of him.

"He's huge," Ebukam told reporters. "He's a monster. But I feel like he's definitely going to have an All-Pro year, the way that he's going right now because I'm seeing him, he's running all the way to the ball, and he looks in phenomenal shape. So, I'm excited to see what he can do. I think he's going to be great."

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