nfl draft

49ers Select Defensive Lineman, Wide Receiver in First Round

The San Francisco 49ers added new weapons for both its offensive and defensive squads.

With the No. 14 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, San Francisco selected South Carolina defensive tackle Javon KInlaw. The 49ers followed up by selecting Brandon Aiyuk from Arizona State at No. 25 overall.

Kinlaw can step in and fill the void left by the trade of DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts.

The 49ers acquired the No. 13 overall pick from the Colts in March, and then traded that pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they were on the clock.

By sliding down one spot to No. 14, the 49ers were able to acquire a fourth-round pick (No. 177 overall). 

The 49ers appear to have gotten the player they wanted, and the player was selected for the team he wanted.

In a Bleacher Report Q&A earlier this week, Kinlaw said he wanted to be drafted by the 49ers.

“If I had to say...I'd say the 49ers,” Kinlaw told a user when asked what team he’d most like to be drafted by.

Kinlaw joins a stacked 49ers' defensive front seven that features Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Kwon Alexander, Dee Ford and Dre Greenlaw.

In NBC Sports Bay Area's final mock draft, Dalton Johnson and Josh Schrock pegged Kinlaw for the 49ers with their first pick.

ESPN's NFL Draft broadcast compared Kinlaw to former Patriots and Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour, who went to seven Pro Bowls, was named to three All-Pro teams and won three Super Bowls.

If Kinlaw reaches that potential, then general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan hit a home run with this pick.

Javon Kinlaw

Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 324 pounds
College: South Carolina
Career stats: 82 tackles, 10 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, eight passes defensed in three seasons.

Combine measurables
40-yard dash: NA
Vertical jump: NA
Broad jump: NA
20-yard shuttle: NA

What experts said before the draft
Todd McShay, ESPN on Kinlaw’s performance at the Senior Bowl: “This is about making money and getting to the next level and putting yourself in the best position. Kinlaw, probably above anyone else there, stood out.”
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Media: "Kinlaw is a hulking defensive tackle prospect. He does need to broaden his arsenal of moves, but there is tremendous upside. His effort is solid. Kinlaw showed out against elite competition, but he played down to the level of lesser opponents. Overall, Kinlaw's best football is in front of him and he has Pro Bowl potential.”
Josh Norris, NBC Sports: " I understand if people question Kinlaw’s lack of production - 10 sacks in his collegiate career. To me, his final season was incredibly similar to Jadeveon Clowney’s -- incredible individual disruption that should have resulted in clean up production by his teammates, yet too often they were nowhere to be found.”
Lance Zierlein, NFL Media: "He can be a disruptive force along the interior with that explosive first step and freaky physical gifts. No matter the front, Kinlaw's traits and potential could make him a solid starter early in his career.”

Take a look back at previous 49er drafts.

BEST FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: Jerry Rice. After winning the Super Bowl with a then-record 18 wins in the 1984 season, coach Bill Walsh pulled off an even bigger victory in the following draft. San Francisco traded up from 28th in the first round to 16th to move a spot ahead of Dallas and took Rice as the third receiver in that draft. All Rice would do is set records with 1,549 catches, 22,895 yards receiving and 208 TDs, while helping the Niners win three more Super Bowl titles. Defensive standouts Ronnie Lott (1981) and Patrick Willis (2007) also deserve mention.

BEST SECOND-ROUND PICK: Roger Craig. The 49ers got a key piece of their dynasty in 1983 when they took Craig 49th overall out of Nebraska. Craig helped San Francisco win a Super Bowl in his second season, became the first player with at least 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season in 1985, and was a key part of two more title teams later in the 1980s.

BEST LATE-ROUND DRAFT PICK: Dwight Clark. The Niners lucked into the receiver who helped deliver the biggest play in franchise history. Walsh was scouting Clark’s roommate, Clemson QB Steve Fuller, before the 1979 draft when he asked if Clark would catch passes at Fuller’s workout. Walsh was impressed enough to draft Clark in the 10th round, a move that paid off when Clark made “The Catch” that launched San Francisco’s dynasty in the 1981 NFC championship game against Dallas.

WORST FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK: Jim Druckenmiller. The 49ers were looking for the successor to Joe Montana and Steve Young when they took Druckenmiller 26th overall in 1997. Druckenmiller went on to make only one start and throw 52 passes over two seasons before ending up in the Arena Football League. Other big misses were WR A.J. Jenkins (2012) and DL Solomon Thomas, who was taken third in 2017 when Patrick Mahomes was still on the board.

WORST SECOND-ROUND DRAFT PICK: LaMichael James. After going to the NFC title game in 2011, the 49ers whiffed on the draft the following season. First-rounder A.J. Jenkins had zero catches in three games in his only season in San Francisco, and second-rounder James wasn’t much better. The former Oregon star gained 229 yards from scrimmage in two-plus seasons with the Niners and also lost a fumble in the Super Bowl against Baltimore in his rookie season.

BEST DRAFT TRADE: With Montana near the peak of his career, the Niners made a trade for another quarterback that helped extend their dynasty. San Francisco dealt second- and fourth-round picks in 1987 to Tampa Bay for Young, who was expendable because the Bucs were about to draft Vinny Testaverde first overall. Young took over as starter when Montana was hurt in 1991 and led the team to the Super Bowl title in the 1994 season on the way to the Hall of Fame.

WORST DRAFT TRADE: The Niners acquired hometown star O.J. Simpson from Buffalo in 1978 for a first-round pick, two seconds, one third and one fourth. A banged-up and aging Simpson ran for 1,053 yards in two seasons for the 49ers and the first-round pick turned out to be No. 1 overall in 1979 when the Bills drafted linebacker Tom Cousineau.

DID YOU KNOW THEY ONCE DRAFTED?: Bronko Nagurski Jr. The son of a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame was picked by the Niners in the 10th round of the 1959 draft. The younger Nagurski opted to play in Canada instead, where he was a two-time All-Star and won two Grey Cup championships during an eight-year career.

LAST YEAR’S PICKS (Round, Name, Position, School): 1st, Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State; 2nd, Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina; 3rd, Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor; 4th, Mitch Wishnowsky, P, Utah; 5th, Dre Greenlaw, LB, Arkansas; 6th, Kaden Smith, TE, Stanford; 6th, Justin Skule, T, Vanderbilt; 6th, Tim Harris, CB, Virginia.

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