Ian Williams

Javon Kinlaw profile: What Ian Williams sees in 49ers first-round draft pick

Javon Kinlaw profile: What Ian Williams sees in 49ers first-round draft pick

Javon Kinlaw racked up six sacks as a senior at South Carolina last season.

That's an impressive number, considering he played in the SEC, where he went up against some of the top offensive linemen in the country.

The 49ers, who picked Kinlaw No. 14 overall Thursday in the 2020 NFL Draft, hope he can pile up more sacks while playing next to Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead in the NFL. But Kinlaw's ability to get to the quarterback might take some time to develop, according to NBC Sports Bay Area's Ian Williams.

"A minus could be him not able to have a lot of sacks," the former 49ers defensive tackle said Friday. "Maybe his pass-rush skills are limited because he's preyed upon younger offensive lineman and he's bullied younger offensive lineman, and he's been stronger and he's dominated those younger guys.

"But now, he's going to be in a professional game in the NFL playing against 25-, 27-, 30-year-old men, and it's going to be a different type of atmosphere for him to have to adjust to. I think he can. The 49ers think he can. That's why he was drafted at No. 14. That's why they feel he can be a replacement for DeForest Buckner."

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The 49ers traded Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts in March for the No. 13 overall draft pick. They traded down one spot and took Kinlaw.

But Williams does see a lot of positives in the young defensive lineman.

"6-foot-5 behemoth in the middle is going to be able to push the pocket, but my scouting report on him, some of his pluses, he's a very, very good run stopper," Williams said. "You'll see [in] a lot of his tape and his film, [he's] using his hands very well. As a defensive lineman, you have use your hands very well to get off blocks, especially in run situations, double teams and having to play down blocks, and then being able to fend offensive lineman off with your hands to be able to bend and get those cut blocks away so you can stay upright and get down the line of scrimmage and make a play.

"He can do these types of things. He can bend. He's got very good quickness on the line of scrimmage, so those are a lot of his pluses."

[RELATED: Kinlaw wants to wear Buckner's number for 49ers]

Williams believes joining a Super Bowl contender with an established defense will help take pressure off Kinlaw.

"Now, stepping into a scheme, understanding the group that he has around him, he doesn't need to step into a situation where he needs to be the savior for this defense," Williams said. "They have plenty of players, they have plenty of pieces around him that can pick up the slack, and allow him to be able to come into his own and learn and become a professional and be a rookie on a great team that's going to try to contend for another Super Bowl."

After a bitter loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV, the 49ers want to return to the big game next season, and they hope Kinlaw can help them get there.

49ers' George Kittle shouldn't play without new contract, Donte Whitner says

49ers' George Kittle shouldn't play without new contract, Donte Whitner says

The 49ers’ offseason focus has shifted from free agency to draft preparation.

But there’s another element of the offseason that should not be overlooked when it is time -- whenever that might be -- for NFL teams to resume their on-field work.

Tight end George Kittle is entering the final year of his original contract. And for the first time this offseason, the 49ers are allowed to give him a contract extension.

NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Donte Whitner believes Kittle should not report back to the club without a new contract.

“I think that he should demand top dollar and he shouldn’t take another snap or step on the football field without getting paid,” Whitner said on 49ers Central.

Kittle’s contract rose to $2.133 million for the 2020 season due to the NFL’s proven performance escalator. But he is still scheduled to be the 25th highest-paid player on the team.

“He’s going to demand a lot of money on the market -- a lot of guaranteed money -- and rightfully so,” Whitner said. “He’s a guy who not only catches the football and gets into the end zone, but he provides the energy and the toughness that it takes to win.”

Kittle was a fifth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Through three seasons, he has amassed 2,945 yards receiving in the regular season -- the most for any tight end in NFL history over the first three seasons of a career.

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Earlier this offseason, the Cleveland Browns made Austin Hooper the highest-paid tight end on a multi-year deal with a four-year, $42 million contract. Kittle’s next contract is expected to far-exceed Hooper’s.

But Kittle is taking a risk if he plays another down -- or takes part in another practice -- without first cashing in, NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Ian Williams agrees.

“He doesn’t come off to me as that type of player, but we’ve all seen players who have held out in previous years,” Williams said. “It happens. It’s a business decision and guys have to be smart about their bodies and know that, ‘If I do stuff on this practice field or I do stuff on this game field and I get injured and I don’t have anything to secure my future, that’s on me.’”

[RELATEDKittle recalls his unforgettable first meeting with The Rock]

The 49ers likely are saving some of their cap room for a new deal for Kittle this offseason. San Francisco is $15.8 million under the salary cap, according to the NFLPA.

The 49ers’ rookie pool is set at $8.2 million, but only the top 51 players count against the cap at this time of year. Therefore, the draft picks are set to lower the 49ers’ current cap number by approximately $3.4 million.

The 49ers have enough cap space to strike a new deal with Kittle this offseason. Now, they just have to find a figure that works for both sides.

Ex-49er Ian Williams calls out Mason Rudolph for role in Myles Garrett brawl


Ex-49er Ian Williams calls out Mason Rudolph for role in Myles Garrett brawl

The end of Thursday night's Browns-Steelers game set social media on fire as Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph and Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett got into an altercation that saw Garrett rip Rudolph's helmet off and club him over the head with it when the quarterback charged him.

Garrett was suspended indefinitely by the NFL, severely impacting the AFC playoff race and the Browns' chances of making the postseason. 

While everyone was quick to vilify Garrett for the inexcusable action, Rudolph hardly is without fault. After getting tackled to the ground with five seconds left in the Browns' 21-7 win, Rudolph tried to rip Garrett's helmet off and kicked him before charging him and setting off the melee. 

Former 49ers defensive tackle and current NBC Sports analyst Ian Williams isn't excusing Garrett's behavior, it was dangerous and reckless. But Williams believes Rudolph also should be held accountable for instigating the entire fracas with his childish actions. 

"I am not condoning what Myles Garrett did last night," Williams said Friday. "I am not OK with what he did last night and he knows it. People know it. He knows he was in the wrong. He did something wrong, you get punished for it. Everybody's pointing the finger at him like, 'Oh, he's the bad guy. Oh, Myles Garrett, he's dirty, he's bad.' There was no reason, absolutely no reason for Mason Rudolph to try to take his helmet off like that. No reason. You playing football, bro. What do you expect? Yeah, you're going to get hit. You're going to get tackled.

"We tired of quarterbacks being able to get rid of the ball like that or them not calling you down and then you get away from a sack, Then you make a big play and I get my a-- chewed. 'Myles, why didn't you take him to the ground?' So Mason's all mad: 'Yo, I got taken to the ground, I'm mad. I got my a-- knocked out a couple weeks ago from Earl Thomas. So, I'm a little angry now, so if anyone touches me or takes me down I'm going to show out. I ain't going to let them punk me again.' Bro, we understand. We don't want that to happen to anybody, we clean players."

It's easy to judge Garrett's actions based on the severity of them, but Rudolph's anger at a clean NFL hit is what sparked the fracas and he, in Williams' view, should be held to account.

"As soon as [Rudolph] hit the ground, he's over here trying to take off the helmet of Myles," Williams said. "Literally, trying to twist it and rip it off ... To twist it and try to pull it off? That hurts. So, you know, Myles is pissed and obviously he's going to win that battle. Everyone is like, 'Well, he's bigger.' Duh! He's going to win that battle. 'Punk little quarterback going to try me like that. I'll take your helmet off. You ain't going to try me like that.' So, he took the helmet. Meanwhile, Mason is kicking him. Kicking him in the groin. Probably kicked him in the area.

"He gets the helmet off and he's walking away. The offensive lineman [David] DeCastro is holding him and Myles is kind of like done with it. He was about to drop the helmet and then here comes old little Mason Rudolph. All angry, Want to come out of nowhere ... try to run up on him and like, 'Bro, what you expect?'"

Williams understands emotions will get the best of everyone while on the football field, but you can't ban one member of the melee and give the other a slap on the wrist.

"Mason should get suspended, too. Or fined. Actually, both," Williams said. "He instigated the whole thing, and then the fact he would try to take a player's helmet off after he did nothing wrong ... Like bro, it was a simple tackle. Did you get mad that you got tackled with 20 seconds left in the game? Is that what it was, Mason? And the fact that he gets disciplined after ... No, he should have been disciplined just as the list came out. But he wasn't, it was after the fact.

"If you get in trouble at school and y'all get taken to the principal's office and the main dude or girl that started it is sitting in class and they are like, 'We'll deal with him later,' while you are sitting in the principal's office. Like, no, he started the whole thing, he should be in here with us."

While Garrett, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey and Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi suspensions of varying lengths for the altercation, Rudolph reportedly only will receive a fine.

[RELATED: Shanahan discusses 'unacceptable' Garrett incident]

The Browns now must try to fight for the playoffs without their best player, while the Steelers quarterback gets off relatively scott free.

Although, with the way Rudolph played Thursday, him being on the field might not be the best thing for the Steelers' playoff hopes.