The reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year went immediately to the game tape, looking for insight into someone he might regularly play next to. He came away impressed by the South Carolina product charged with replacing DeForest Buckner after the team captain and second-team All-Pro was traded to the Indianapolis Colts.
Turns out watching Kinlaw wasn't wasted time. The 49ers selected him No. 14 overall following a slight trade back, bringing another top-tier talent to an already dominant defensive line.
"I didn't watch too much of South Carolina until I heard it was a possibility that he might be a pick for us," Bosa said Wednesday in a video conference with local reporters. "Then I started to watch [some film] of him. He just embodies what we do as a defensive line. He's just a beast. He plays the run like we play it. He gets off the ball really fast. He's a giant human, someone perfect to replace Buckner. I'm really excited after seeing him play a little bit. I can't wait."
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The feeling's mutual. Kinlaw said after getting picked that he did some homework on the 49ers during the pre-draft process and came away fired up at the tough of joining the reigning NFC champs.
"Yeah, I think they might've been the best defensive line in football last year," Kinlaw said. "I'm not just saying that. The way they play, they play the right way. I feel like they play the way the game is supposed to be played."
Replacing Buckner shouldn't fall on just one player, especially a young one, considering how much he did for the team as a leader, field general and pressure producer. Kinlaw won't be expected to be all Buckner was as a rookie, but he certainly hopes to reach his level in time. That's certainly possible considering Kinlaw's jaw-dropping athleticism and drive.
"I was watching DeForest since he was coming out of college," Kinlaw said "I know he started off as a raw player and he developed into a monster. I feel like once I can get that type of coaching, I can probably be somebody like him."
Why Nick Bosa believes Javon Kinlaw perfect fit for 49ers' defensive line originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area