His defensive coordinator, DeMeco Ryans, recently said he believes Javon Kinlaw is poised for a breakout season in Year 2, and NFL analyst Brian Baldinger seems to agree. The former offensive lineman focused on Kinlaw in one of his trademark Twitter breakdowns.
"When I talk to players in this league, one of the guys they say is one of the most powerful players they go against is Kinlaw," Baldinger said.
Kinlaw finished his rookie season with 33 combined tackles, 1.5 sacks and an interception he returned for a touchdown.
Ryans, who is entering his first season as the 49ers' defensive coordinator after Robert Saleh left to become the New York Jets' head coach, recently spoke about Kinlaw's progress as he prepares for Year 2.
“Kinlaw is looking awesome,” Ryans said last Wednesday. “Kinlaw has been able to really hone in and focus on his techniques which he missed coming in as a rookie. He is going to take a huge jump this year.
“We were able to slow things down and really emphasize footwork, hand placement, technique and eyes. He’s been doing an awesome job and I can already see how much better he has gotten in the couple weeks that we’ve been together.”
As Baldinger noted in his breakdown, the return of a healthy Nick Bosa should open up even more opportunity for Kinlaw to wreak havoc on opposing backfields.
The 49ers hope to return to their status as one of the NFL's premier defenses in 2021, and Kinlaw should play a big part in that if he lives up to the expectations Baldinger and Ryans have for him.