49ers' Kinlaw graded third-best rookie in Week 1 by PFF

Javon Kinlaw

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."

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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.