49ers

Whitner believes 49ers' Kinlaw 'might be a bust' already

49ers

Javon Kinlaw has played in just 18 NFL games, and has not had quite the impact many expected when he was made the No. 14 overall pick by the 49ers in the 2020 NFL Draft.

NBC Sports Bay Area's Donte Whitner had some strong words about Kinlaw's impact during "49ers Pregame Live" ahead of Sunday night's showdown with the Indianapolis Colts.

"You hate to say this, but he was replaced, Kinlaw might be a bust, and let's call it like it is," Whitner said. "You can't get on the field, you're often injured, there's no production from you. If you put DeForest Buckner back on this team, how well does this front four right now perform?

"I think that sometimes you roll the dice, and you lose, and the 49ers lost in this instance."

RELATED: Kinlaw's lingering knee injury is 'a big concern' for 49ers

To be fair to Kinlaw, he has missed just four games, including Sunday night's contest, through his one season and change with the 49ers.

Interior defensive line is a difficult position to evaluate, as production often is not measured by typical counting stats.

Buckner's selection as a first-team All-Pro shines a brighter light on Kinlaw's diminished numbers, but Kinlaw also has not even completed his second NFL season. 

Kinlaw will not suit up for the 49ers in Week 7, but it feels premature to completely write off the 24-year-old just because he was theoretically traded for Buckner.

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