Javon Kinlaw might be the most massive player on the 49ers' roster, but it's understandable if you didn't notice him much during his NFL debut in San Francisco's 24-20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
The No. 14 overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft didn't start the game and barely made the stat sheet. He didn't record a sack and was credited with just one tackle assist. He did have two quarterback pressures, though, and made a positive impact over his 39 snaps.
Pro Football Focus gave Kinlaw the third-highest grade (81.4) of any rookie in Week 1, and coach Kyle Shanahan offered a very favorable review of his NFL debut.
"I was really happy with Javon," Shanahan said Monday. "He'd been battling here through camp trying to learn how to play D-line in the NFL while going against all our run stuff and everything. I think it was really nice for him to get out there and go against someone else.
"I thought he had a hell of a game. He made a number of plays. It's also a tough team to do that against. Just the way their scheme is, how quickly they have the screens and everything and the way their quarterback plays. It was a real good first game for him."
Kinlaw has big shoes to fill, as he was drafted to replace the departed DeForest Buckner. He's already capable of doing that from a pure physical standpoint, but the skill is a work in progress.
He has a long way to go to reach his full potential, but Kinlaw is off to a good start.