It'll be a while before 49ers first-round pick Javon Kinlaw meets his new teammates, as NFL facilities remain closed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He'll need no introduction to at least one of them.
Kinlaw played alongside wide receiver Deebo Samuel, a second-round pick in 2019 and a breakout star in coach Kyle Shanahan's offense as a rookie, at South Carolina in 2017 and 2018. The two have kept in touch, and Samuel offered his collegiate, and now-professional, teammate a prediction about his draft-day destination.
"Deebo called me the other day and told me I was coming to San Francisco, and I just texted Deebo," Kinlaw told reporters in a video conference call Thursday night (H/T 49ers WebZone's Daniel Bonilla). "So, me and Deebo, we've got a pretty good relationship."
Samuel, who accounted for 961 yards from scrimmage and scored six touchdowns as the 49ers' offensive Swiss Army knife in 2019, wasn't the only one hoping for a reunion. Kinlaw told a user during a Bleacher Report Q&A this week that he hoped the 49ers would draft him.
As excited as the former Gamecocks surely are to play together again, it's hard to imagine either Samuel or Kinlaw was more excited than Kinlaw's father to see the 49ers draft the defensive tackle. Kinlaw's father is a longtime 49ers fan, knowing he'll get to see his son suit up for his favorite team literally brought him to the floor.