Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports


For The Record - 49ers DT Javon Kinlaw

Justin Wong
Apr 24, 2020 at 1:50 PM0


While NFL Draft pundits and fans alike can give instant reactions to their team's player selections, it's easy to forget that the true value of the picks cannot be fully assessed until after a couple of seasons. Some players become instant starters (Deebo Samuel) while others remain a work in progress (Solomon Thomas). Having said that, I want to pull out the receipts on what draft analysts were saying prior to the draft, along with their player comparisons. With the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft now in the books, let's review what various scouting outlets were saying about the 49ers' first-round picks. The San Francisco 49ers traded the 13th pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for the 14th and 117th pick. San Francisco subsequently selected South Carolina defensive tackle, Javon Kinlaw.


NFL Player Comparison: Michael Brockers, Chris Jones, Richard Seymour

Dane Brugler of The Athletic has Kinlaw as a 'high-upside starter' in his 2020 NFL Draft Guide:

Kinlaw aces the eye test with his massive frame and shows the length and initial burst to win quickly, using his immediate momentum to put blockers on their heels and create movement. Although his upright playing style can be a detriment, especially when attempting to break down in small areas, he has a ready-made body type and his height helps create clear sight lines to the football. Overall, Kinlaw won't live up to his draft spot if he doesn't improve his consistency from a technical standpoint, but his combination of length, raw power and gap quickness creates flashes of Kansas City Chiefs' Chris Jones, projecting as a high-upside NFL starter.

NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein sees Kinlaw as a 'solid starter early in his career':

For a player with so many elite physical traits, Kinlaw's tape was much more inconsistent than expected. He had moments where he was able to use his size, length and power to overwhelm opponents, but poor pad level and an inability to harness his energy coming off the snap led to body control and balance issues that prevented him from reaching his full potential. He can be a disruptive force along the interior with that explosive first step and freaky physical gifts, but utilizing his heavy hands and plus length as a read-and-react 3-4 end might allow for improved technique, control and consistency. No matter the front, Kinlaw's traits and potential could make him a solid starter early in his career.

ESPN Scout Inc.'s Draft profile of Kinlaw gave him a 92 grade as a 'plug-and-play NFL starter with upside':

Kinlaw possesses a powerful upper body to lock out as a run defender, and he has very good range as a run defender. Because he is very tall, he struggles to keep leverage while engaged, and will struggle to anchor when his pad level gets too high. Kinlaw fits best in a one-gap heavy scheme. He is at his best when active as a run defender, and he has upside as a pass-rusher. Keeping his weight in check and continuing to improve his counter moves will be important to his NFL development. Kinlaw is a plug-and-play NFL starter with upside.

Danny Kelly of the Ringer appreciates the versatility of Kinlaw:

A versatile defensive lineman with excellent length, strength, and get-off; consistently creates havoc in the backfield no matter where he lines up

Overall, Kinlaw comes off as a safe pick in a defensive tackle with the upside to get better rushing the passer. Like any NFL prospect, he needs to refine his technique but has ideal physical traits; it seems like the real X-factor upon his development will be his consistency. The San Francisco 49ers traded away DeForest Buckner and get his replacement in Kinlaw along with the 117th pick in what should be deemed as a cost-effective approach to managing their roster. They strengthen a strength by reinforcing the interior of the line. Out of last year's defensive starters, 10 of the 11 in the starting lineup return for 2020; Kinlaw looks to be the lone new starter if all goes well.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers Notebook: Talanoa Hufanga's improvement; Brian Griese's impact; DJ Jones talks 49ers; Why is Jimmy G so loud?

By Kirk Larrabee
Sep 22

Today marked another day of media rounds for the San Francisco 49ers, with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, and run game coordinator/offensive line coach Chris Foerster being among those to speak to reporters in Santa Clara. Among the topics discussed in those media sessions were the improvement of safety Talanoa Hufanga, the impact of new quarterbacks coach Brian Griese, and where Jimmy Garoppolo gets his vocal power from. There were also some quotes of note to come from outside 49ers facilities, including some thoughts from former 49ers defensive tackle D.J. Jones as he gets set to face his former team when the 49ers face the Broncos in Denver on Sunday night. Here's a rundown of those topics and more in this version of 49ers



49ers Notebook: The Trent Williams effect; Shanahan on his decision to decline key penalty; A familiar face haunts 49ers

By Kirk Larrabee
Sep 26

The sooner everyone moves on from the 49ers' dreadful 11-10 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday night the better. But first, let's tie up some loose ends to come from Sunday's postgame interviews. Much of the postgame discussion surrounded the performance of the 49ers' offense, which was poor enough to squander a defensive effort that held the Broncos' offense to just nine points. But there was also some honesty regarding the loss of left tackle Trent Williams, some insight from head coach Kyle Shanahan on why he declined an important first half penalty, and much more. Let's get into a roundup of some of Sunday's postgame comments in this edition of 49ers Notebook. George Kittle's honesty on the loss of Trent Williams and the performance of the



49ers vs. Broncos defensive grades: Another defensive masterclass ruined for the 49ers

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 28

The San Francisco 49ers suffered another head-scratching loss, this time to the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football by the score of 11-10, in a game where the defensive brilliance could not overcome the offensive woes. Here are the defensive grades for the 49ers in Week 3: Defensive Line: A About 90 minutes prior to game time, reports surfaced that the 49ers would be without star defensive tackle Arik Armstead, potentially making the matchup even tougher, especially with San Francisco facing off against the strong running back duo of Javonte Williams and



Schefter: Keep an eye on 49ers RB Jordan Mason as a fantasy football factor

By David Bonilla
Sep 16

While undrafted rookie running back Jordan Mason is a fan favorite, the most-likely replacement for injured San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell is veteran Jeff Wilson Jr. Mitchell suffered an MCL sprain during this past weekend's loss to the Chicago Bears and landed on injured reserve. One NFL insider, ESPN's Adam Schefter, says everyone should keep an eye on Mason, though, who could get a chance to prove himself until Mitchell's return in a couple of months. "Well, obviously, they're going to start with Jeff Wilson, and Jeff Wilson is a player they really like," Schefter told his ESPN colleague, Field Yates. "And if anybody watches Jeff Wilson play, when he's out there, man, is he tough, and does he run hard. The issue with him is a little bit like


Featured

More by Justin Wong

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone