Javon Kinlaw 2020 NFL Draft Profile, Strengths, Weaknesses and Possible Fits

Javon Kinlaw 2020 NFL Draft Profile, Strengths, Weaknesses and Possible Fits Photo by Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Javon Kinlaw 2020 NFL Draft Profile

2020 NFL Draft

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Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw is projected to be a mid-first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. After a freshman season in community college, Kinlaw joined South Carolina and showcased his skills for three years. He’s got a great shot at becoming an NFL success story in the seasons to come. 

College Career: Kinlaw began his college football career at Jones County Junior College in 2016. He had 26 tackles and four sacks in nine games there, earning himself second-team Junior College All-America honors and the attention of the Gamecocks. 

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Kinlaw played in seven games at South Carolina as a sophomore, posting 17 total tackles, a forced fumble and two recoveries. Throughout his three seasons as a Gamecock player, Kinlaw managed 82 total tackles, 10.0 sacks, 17.0 tackles for loss, eight pass defenses, four fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles. He made First-Team All-SEC in 2019. 

Strengths: During his college campaign, Kinlaw trained hard and morphed his body into an adept and powerful frame. He’s got plenty of lean-muscle strength and a sizable reach, which enables him to get leverage during bull-rush situations. Kinlaw’s hands are forceful as well, and with all that momentum built up he’s quite disruptive to unprepared offensive lines. 

Kinlaw also seems to have a pretty good motor and stays explosive throughout the course of a game, which helps the defense immensely during fourth-quarter passing situations. 

Weaknesses: Though Kinlaw is a powerful physical specimen when he’s exploding off the snap, his reaction time is sometimes a bit slow. He’s going to need some technique refinements at the professional level as well; NFL-level offensive linemen won’t allow themselves to be pushed around as much as the college teams Kinlaw has faced. 

Some scouts also say Kinlaw holds himself a bit too high and needs to engage his knees more as he’s pushing past blockers. He’s got an all-or-nothing power charge when pushing through to the backfield and will need to refine his technique if he’s going to be consistently effective within the NFL ranks. 

Possible Fits: In all likelihood, Kinlaw won’t be the first DT off the board—that’ll be Derrick Brown from Auburn, who is projected to go around No. 7 by most mock drafts. The interest in Kinlaw will pick up around the No. 9 spot in the first round with Jacksonville—worst-case, he slides down to No. 20 where the rebuilding Jaguars defense is once again sitting. Jacksonville has been pretty active in selecting DTs in the first round in recent years, but now Calais Campbell is gone and the team needs to fish for the position again. Kinlaw would be an absolute steal at No. 20, but it's highly doubtful he'll last that long. If the Jags get him, it'll be at No. 9. 

If he’s still there, expect to start hearing Kinlaw’s name again at No. 14 with Tampa Bay. They’ll probably go defense here, and if they don’t snag a cornerback then DT is the next logical choice. Another good spot for Kinlaw to land would be Denver at No. 15; I don’t think they’ll pass him over if he’s still on the board. 

All things considered, depending on how the draft plays out Kinlaw will likely be wearing either a Jaguars, Buccaneers or Broncos cap when he hits the stage. 

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.