Robert Saleh, the 49ers' defensive coordinator, has a new weapon.

With the No. 14 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, San Francisco selected South Carolina defensive tackle Javon KInlaw.

Kinlaw can step in and fill the void left by last month's trade of veteran defensive lineman DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts. The 49ers acquired the No. 13 overall pick from the Colts in that deal, and they then traded that selection to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday when they were on the clock.

By sliding down one spot to No. 14, the 49ers were able to acquire a fourth-round pick (No. 177 overall), although they also had to give up a seventh-rounder in the deal.

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The 49ers appear to have the player they wanted, and the player has the team he wanted. In a Bleacher Report Q&A earlier this week, Kinlaw said he wanted the 49ers to draft him.

“If I had to say ... I'd say the 49ers,” Kinlaw told a user when asked what team he'd most like to pick him.

In NBC Sports Bay Area's final mock draft, Dalton Johnson and Josh Schrock pegged Kinlaw for the 49ers.


Kinlaw joins a stacked 49ers defensive front that features Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Kwon Alexander, Dee Ford and Dre Greenlaw. ESPN's NFL Draft broadcast compared Kinlaw to former Patriots and Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour, who went to seven Pro Bowls, was named to three All-Pro teams and won three Super Bowls.

If Kinlaw reaches that potential, then general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan hit a home run with this pick.

Player profile: Javon Kinlaw

Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 324 pounds
College: South Carolina
Career stats: 82 tackles, 10 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, eight passes defensed in three seasons.

Combine measurables
40-yard dash: NA
Vertical jump: NA
Broad jump: NA
20-yard shuttle: NA

What experts said before the draft
Todd McShay, ESPN on Kinlaw’s performance at the Senior Bowl: “This is about making money and getting to the next level and putting yourself in the best position. Kinlaw, probably above anyone else there, stood out.”
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Media: "Kinlaw is a hulking defensive tackle prospect. He does need to broaden his arsenal of moves, but there is tremendous upside. His effort is solid. Kinlaw showed out against elite competition, but he played down to the level of lesser opponents. Overall, Kinlaw's best football is in front of him and he has Pro Bowl potential.”
Josh Norris, NBC Sports: " I understand if people question Kinlaw’s lack of production - 10 sacks in his collegiate career. To me, his final season was incredibly similar to Jadeveon Clowney’s -- incredible individual disruption that should have resulted in clean up production by his teammates, yet too often they were nowhere to be found.”
Lance Zierlein, NFL Media: "He can be a disruptive force along the interior with that explosive first step and freaky physical gifts. No matter the front, Kinlaw's traits and potential could make him a solid starter early in his career.”