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.
  • Justin Wong
  • Written by:
    Justin Wong has been writing for the 49ers Webzone since 2017 while also running an NFC West blog and podcast called Just The West. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to @JustTheWest on Twitter.
The views 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



Jeremiah on 49ers' pick in latest mock draft: 'I am surprised that everything you hear points toward Jones'

By David Bonilla
Apr 6, 2021

With so many smokescreens and teams keeping their strategies close to the vest, it's tough to believe anything you hear when it comes to pre-draft rumors and speculation. Everyone in the media feels the San Francisco 49ers traded up to the No. 3 spot for Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, whether they can make sense of it or not. Much of that is based on what they hear from around the league. Their colleagues and other teams feel Jones might be the pick, despite the overwhelming opinion that the selection would be a reach. NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks doesn't even view Jones as worthy of a first-round pick, much less No. 3 overall. "Perhaps the Alabama quarterback is a secret member of The Avengers, operating like Tony Stark as Iron Man,"



Fred Warner, Jason Verrett, three other 49ers receive performance-based bonuses

By David Bonilla
Apr 6, 2021

Five San Francisco 49ers players earned performance-based bonuses, per a report from NBC Sports Bay Area. They include linebackers Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw, and defensive backs Jason Verrett and Tarvarius Moore. One offensive lineman, Daniel Brunskill, also earned the additional pay. Matt Maiocco has the breakdown of how much each earned via the performance-based bonuses. The NFL Management Council released Performance Based Pay for the 2020 season. The following #49ers earned additional $300K +:Daniel Brunskill



Tannenbaum sees Mac Jones as 'very similar' to Matt Ryan, has QB to 49ers in mock draft

By David Bonilla
Apr 6, 2021

Yet another mock draft has the San Francisco 49ers selecting former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones with the No. 3 overall pick. This one from ESPN's Mike Tannenbaum is a bit different, though. While some analysts feel that Jones-to-49ers is the most likely scenario, many feel that the selection would be a reach, especially with potentially higher-ceiling prospects Justin Fields and Trey Lance likely to still be on the board. The latest ESPN mock draft has Tannenbaum, a former NFL executive, playing the role of general manager for all 32 teams and choosing the players he feels are the best fit for



Neither Lynch nor Shanahan asked Nick Saban about Mac Jones, potential 49ers draft pick, at pro day

By David Bonilla
Apr 6, 2021

File this under interesting pre-draft tidbits. San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan were in attendance for Alabama's pro day last week. That made headlines because the duo opted to watch quarterback Mac Jones rather than attend Ohio State's pro day to watch Justin Fields. Paired with Chris Simms' speculation that San Francisco might have traded up to the No. 3 spot for Jones, that spurred others to seriously consider a Jones-to-49ers scenario. Alabama head coach Nick Saban recently joined the Dan Patrick Show and shared that neither Lynch nor Shanahan asked him anything about his former quarterback, who helped guide the Crimson Tide to a national championship. And it wasn't because they didn't have an opportunity to do


Featured

More by Justin Wong

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone