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49ers replace Buckner with Kinlaw after trading down

Jacob Kupferman / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The San Francisco 49ers selected defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw out of South Carolina in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, 14th overall.

San Francisco targeted a lineman to replace DeForest Buckner, who it traded to the Indianapolis Colts for the No. 13 pick. The team then moved down one spot, swapping positions with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a deal that netted it a fourth-round selection while parting with a seventh-rounder.

The 49ers have used a first-round pick on an offensive or defensive lineman every year since 2015. Last year, general manager John Lynch chose defensive end Nick Bosa - the eventual Defensive Rookie of the Year - with the second overall selection.

Prospect Profile

School: South Carolina
Height: 6-5
Weight: 324 lbs


  • Outstanding size and length for the position with an NFL-ready frame and rare physical tools
  • Possesses the strength to stack and rip linemen as well as drive them backward
  • Excellent get-off and burst for his size
  • Natural ability to change direction with good lateral quickness
  • Generates extraordinary power through his body as a bull-rusher
  • Violent hands to swat and rip through blockers
  • Excellent tackler with a wide radius and rarely misses
  • Improved his play every season and often played out of position
  • Power rush moves are likely the best in the class


  • Can sometimes play out of control with hands changing positions, resulting in a loss of balance
  • Plays with an inconsistent pad level
  • Could expand his pass-rush repertoire

Bottom line

If you're looking for this year's physical freak along the defensive line, Kinlaw is your man. The former South Carolina standout possesses a unique blend of length, athleticism, burst, and raw strength that teams covet at the next level. These tools give him the highest upside in the class. Kinlaw's hand placement and overall technique certainly need polishing, but he still dominated college opponents on nearly every down. What he could do with a year of NFL coaching is a scary thought. Kinlaw fits into any scheme, and some team is likely to fall in love with his potential and make him an early first-round selection.

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