49ers NFL Draft: Predicting each rookie selection’s impact in 2020

Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina Gamecocks (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina Gamecocks (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco 49ers
Javon Kinlaw #3 of the South Carolina Gamecocks (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

No. 1: Defensive Tackle Javon Kinlaw

The early part of the first round in the 2020 NFL Draft saw the 49ers pull an expected move and an unexpected move. There was a trade down which many experts expected to happen with the 49ers as they had two picks in the round.

The 49ers moved down from their 13th overall pick, which they had acquired from the Indianapolis Colts by trading away defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, to the 14th overall pick.

San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers /

San Francisco 49ers

They traded the 13th pick and a seventh-round (245th overall) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 14th overall pick and a fourth-round (117th overall) pick.

At pick No. 14, the 49ers were widely expected to take the best wide receiver available in the draft. That would’ve been either Jerry Jeudy from Alabama or CeeDee Lamb of Oklahoma. But in a shocking move, they selected defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw out of South Carolina.

The Kinlaw selection was surprising because it seemed unlikely the front office would trade away one of their most consistent defensive linemen only to turn around use that pick to draft another one.

The story though ended up being that Lynch wanted Kinlaw all along. “You don’t want to get away from what makes you special”, was how he addressed the desire to build the team from the defensive line. And with that, the regime took a defensive lineman in the first round for the third time in four years.

Kinlaw looks to jump into a starting role in place of the traded Buckner. His draft notes and evaluations praise him for his strength and power. Coming onto an already stacked defensive line should give him a lot of one on one opportunities in the pass rush.

Next. 4 things learned from 49ers actions during 2020 NFL Draft. dark

While defensive end Nick Bosa looks to be the leading sack getter on the team in 2020, Kinlaw shouldn’t be too far behind. Look for him to rack up 8.5 sacks in his rookie season and earn a 2020 PFWA All-Rookie Team selection.