49ers rookie Kinlaw already looks 'better and better' on film


Once again, Javon Kinlaw played better than the box score showed. The 49ers' rookie defensive tackle was credited with two tackles and one pass defensed in San Francisco's 36-9 win Sunday over the New York Giants, but he made a much bigger impact. 

"This Javon Kinlaw, he flashed for about a half-dozen plays on Sunday," NFL Media's Brian Baldinger said in a tweet while breaking down Kinlaw's game film. "But you can see he just keeps getting better and better." 

Throughout Baldinger's breakdown, Kinlaw splits a double-team on the first play of the game to assist a tackle, tips a pass, covers running back Dion Lewis in the flat and even plays a little defensive end in the fourth quarter. Baldinger is really impressed by Kinlaw, the No. 14 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, praising his power and "physical dominance." 

While Pro Football Reference has Kinlaw down for two solo tackles and three assists on the season, Pro Football Focus has him marked down for five solo tackles. PFF grades Kinlaw as a 68.0 overall through his first three games in the NFL. 

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Kinlaw's traditional numbers don't jump off the page, but that tends to be the case for a defensive tackle. He's making an impact every game thus far, and showed some versatility in Week 3 as well. 

The 49ers' defense runs through their defensive line, and they'll need Kinlaw more than ever with Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas out for the season with knee injuries and Dee Ford sidelined with back and neck issues. Kinlaw already is proving he's only going to get better and better.


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