DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina

6’6” – 310 lbs.

Originally attended Jones Count Junior College (Miss.), where he posted 26-8.5-4.5 in 2016. Lost forty pounds after arriving at South Carolina the following season, being listed at 326 pounds and starting ten of thirteen games and posting 20-2.0 with a blocked kick. Was a twelve-game starter in 2018, going 38-10.0-4.5, then posted 35-6.0-6.0 as a senior, earning first-team all-conference honors from SEC coaches and being named a team captain. Comes from a difficult background and has overcome a lot of adversity in his life; appears to have had some academic and conditioning issues in the past but is now considered one of his team’s hardest workers. Plays both nose tackle and end on the team’s three-man defensive lines; taller than your typical nose tackle, but has ideal size and bulk for a five-technique end. Incredibly explosive out of his stance; fires out like a much smaller player, with a low pad level which allows him to compete in the leverage battle. Plays like a bull in a china shop; high on aggressiveness and intensity, but with a tendency to get out of control at times. Has very impressive play strength; able to explode out of his stance, get his arms extended, and steamroll opposing offensive linemen. Very good leg drive after contact to walk back opposing blockers and collapse the pocket. May be overly reliant on power, though; more of a bull-rushing type who ends some snaps idling around the line of scrimmage rather than working in counter to disengage. Does flash active hands at times but often appears to be operating without a clear plan. Run defense is predicated upon using his explosiveness and suddenness to create disruption. Carries his weight very well and can skinny between blockers to knife into the backfield and wreck plays. Flashes the ability to elude initial punches and work in hand use to shoot gaps. Would like to see him play with more eye discipline in the run game; can lower his head and barrel into opposing linemen with his body, losing track of the ball. Can struggle to maintain balance, especially against double-team blocks. When he keeps his eyes up, flashes the ability to shed blockers and use his length and closing burst to corral ballcarriers. Does a good job of sticking with running backs leaking out to catch screens. Comes with a special combination of size, strength, explosiveness, and intensity, but is still a work in progress whose aggressiveness can work against him when it causes him to rush in prematurely, losing track of the play. Sky-high potential will probably cause a team to draft him in the first round.

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