The 49ers have waited patiently to see the Javon Kinlaw they drafted with the 14th overall choice in 2020. Since then, Kinlaw has appeared in only 18 games with 16 starts in two seasons.
The defensive tackle underwent reconstruction surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in late October. Now that Kinlaw is healthy, the 49ers are starting to see signs of the guy they drafted.
“He’s bringing energy to our group,” 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans said, via Jennifer Lee Chan of NBCSportsBayArea.com. “He’s physical. He’s looking good out there, in good shape, getting his legs back under him. I’m excited to see him just continue to progress, and I’m looking forward to him having a big year for us because it’ll be vital for us to have really dominant players inside.”
If Kinlaw can turn into who the 49ers thought, they could have a dominant presence inside with he and Arik Armstead.
“He’s doing really good at being focused on the small details of his job, which will allow him to be a very dominant player inside for us,” Ryans said.