49ers defensive coordinator labels first-rounder Javon Kinlaw ‘very angry football player’
The San Francisco 49ers took Javon Kinlaw with the No. 14 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is anxious to work with him. While speaking about the rookie interior defender, Saleh highlighted how Kinlaw is a perfect fit for San Francisco’s defense.
“He’s a very large human being, very explosive, very powerful, plays with the mindset we like — a very angry football player,” defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said in a state-of-the-franchise show airing today at 5 p.m. on the 49ers’ website and YouTube channel.
Early in free agency, the 49ers elected to trade DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a first-round pick in this year’s draft. It didn’t take long for San Francisco to find his replacement. The 49ers would trade back one pick to select Kinlaw, who was considered one of the best interior defenders available.
Altogether, in the past four seasons, Buckner contributed 28.5 sacks and 74 quarterback hits for the 49ers. Therefore, San Francisco is going to need someone to fill the massive void left behind by the Pro Bowler.
In his final two seasons at South Carolina, Kinlaw recorded a total of 10 sacks and 17 tackles for loss. The incoming rookie proved that he can be a stout run defender in college. However, the hope is that Kinlaw can continue to improve as a pass rusher in San Francisco.
Besides Javon Kinlaw, the 49ers boast a formidable defensive front with Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, and Arik Armstead. Seeing how Saleh speaks about him, it’s safe to assume he is confident that Kinlaw will produce fruitful results in 2020.