Picture Credit: South Carolina Athletics

The 49ers gained a powerful defensive lineman with the 13 pick, choosing South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw in the 1st Round.

The Charleston, SC native is a large, strong rusher, coming in at 6-5, 324 pounds. His hands deliver a punch that knocks even the best of SEC linemen back. Kinlaw uses his arms to his advantage, pulling himself past blocks. Although still raw, he should be a Day 1 starter for the 49ers, playing alongside Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead. His physical traits and violent bull rush make the former Gamecock an obvious first-round selection. Let’s take a look at what else Kinlaw brings to the table:


  • Explosive off snap
  • Hard to square up and block, despite size
  • Uses picks and stunts well

but also:

  • Doesn’t always play heads-up
  • Can lose cool when frustrated
  • Can be undisciplined in his technique

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What the Experts Say

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. -Lance Zierlein, NFL.com


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