49ers top 5 players on roster under 25 years old

Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Javon Kinlaw, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw (99) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 4: 49ers Defensive Tackle Javon Kinlaw

Some could argue 2020 rookie defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw wasn’t quite as impressive as many thought he’d be, and those who use Pro Football Focus as a judging point might be justified with their arguments.

After all, Kinlaw’s 54.1 overall PFF grade isn’t quite what teams would like to get out of a first-year player selected within the top 15 of any NFL Draft class. And for those wishing he’d be more of an interior disruptor were probably disappointed with his mere 1.5 sacks last year.

But, according to NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger, a number of interior offensive linemen who went up against Kinlaw referred to the former South Carolina Gamecock as a “beast” in the trenches.

For Kinlaw, 2021 is going to be all about refining his technique and going from a raw but physically gifted interior defender to an all-around disruptive presence in a number of key areas.

Kinlaw will turn 24 years old in the middle of the upcoming season and also didn’t have the benefit of a regular offseason program his rookie year because of the pandemic. As a result, he didn’t get to work out those refinements as well as he otherwise could have under the tutelage of San Francisco’s coaching staff.

Look for that to change this year.