Javon Kinlaw has to fill the monumental shoes of DeForest Buckner. In a phone call with reporters, Kinlaw answered questions about the status of his knee, which suffers from tendinitis.
There’s little question about Kinlaw’s potential as a double-team-necessitating, game-wrecking interior presence. Even with questionable form and a need to improve eye positioning, he was at his best against the likes of Georgia and Alabama, and projects, if he realizes potential, as someone as dynamic as DeForest Buckner.
The major question are about Kinlaw’s form, eye positioning and his health. The last question is the most important, given the 49ers’ proven track record in developing interior defensive line talent (and edge talent, outside of Solomon Thomas).
Kinlaw said his knee is, “100 percent. No issues.”
In a Bleacher Report ask me anything forum, Kinlaw said he wanted to go to the 49ers. He expanded on that after being drafted.
“I just like the way they play, honestly,” Kinlaw said. “They’re just going after it, penetrating, getting after the ball… hands down [I can be a three-down player], I’m ready.”
He did say that fellow South Carolina Gamecock teammate talked to Deebo Samuel the other day, and Samuel told Kinlaw he’d be coming to San Francisco, whose defensive line, he viewed as arguably the best in the league.
“I think they might have been the best defensive line in football last year,” Kinlaw said. “I’m not just saying that. The way they play, they play the right way.”
The biggest question is how he’ll fill the shoes of the recently departed All-Pro talent in DeForest Buckner. Unsurprisingly, Kinlaw is confident.
“I knew I was watching the DeForest since he was coming out of college, so you know I knew he started off as a raw player, you know, and he developed a monster, you know, so I feel like, once I can get that type of coaching, I could probably be somebody like him.”