2020 NFL Draft: Javon Kinlaw fits the Indianapolis Colts interior need

49ers DT Javon Kinlaw (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
49ers DT Javon Kinlaw (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
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Areas of Improvement

Like every other prospect, no matter how talented they are coming into the draft, some areas could use some improvement. Javon Kinlaw doesn’t have many weaknesses, but some that come to mind would be his flexibility, speed, and some further development when it comes to process what is happening on the field quickly.

Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts /

Indianapolis Colts

As mentioned earlier, Kinlaw is best lined up along the interior of the defensive line. Capitalizing on his upfield burst to penetrate the A and B gaps is where he will find most of his success. Lack of flexibility in the hips causes him to take longer when changing direction as he regains that momentum. Bending or using speed around the edge is not part of his game, which makes him easier to block for offensive tackles.

Most of Kinlaw’s pass rush ability will come from the bull rush with a couple of counters. Adding to his arsenal of pass rush moves will make him nearly unstoppable as he will not only be less predictable, but he sustains the physical attributes to bring more to the table. It will lead to more instant pressure sacks as well by not allowing quarterbacks to escape the pocket and challenge his COD.

There was an improvement in 2019 when it comes to his ability to take on double teams, but he still needs to be more consistent in that area. Too often, he will find himself losing leverage with a high pad level and not staying square with the LOS. Kinlaw still needs to improve his ability to read misdirection and options as he tends to bite and doesn’t have the change of direction and speed to catch ball carriers escaping to the boundary. Given his quick penetration into the backfield, there were times where he rushed too far upfield, allowing ball carriers to slip past him.