Daniel Jeremiah is a former scout for the Ravens, Brown and Eagles who is now an analyst for the NFL Network. On Tuesday, the man known as @MoveTheSticks on Twitter released his first mock draft of the “offseason.” It included all 32 picks in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Minnesota Vikings own the 25th pick in the first round. At the moment, the Vikings have quite a few needs, including offensive line, defensive line and the secondary. Jeremiah has the Vikings addressing one of those needs, taking a large physical specimen with their first-round pick. Here’s what Jeremiah had to say about the selection:
25. Javon Kinlaw – DT
School: South Carolina | Year: Senior
I have Kinlaw rated very high, and this would be too much value to pass up at this spot. He is a physical freak.”
Kinlaw is a mammoth three-technique defensive tackle. Today at the Senior Bowl he measured in at 6-5, 315 with a wingspan of seven feet. In 2019 he played in 12 games for the Gamecocks, compiling 35 tackles, six tackles for loss, six sacks, two passes deflected and two fumble recoveries.
Javon Kinlaw NFL Comp:
A small bear 🐻 pic.twitter.com/agmf0sG6z5
— Luke Inman (@Luke_SpinmanNFL) January 21, 2020
The Vikings haven’t had a long-term solution at three-technique since the unfortunate Sharrif Floyd mishap. Regardless of what happens with nose tackle Linval Joseph, who could be restructured or released, there is a need to upgrade and get younger at defensive tackle.
Kinlaw’s skill set has been compared to Arik Armstead of the 49ers. The Vikings are in need of a disruptive force on the interior of the defensive line as well as a more consistent pass rush. Kinlaw offers both.
More on Kinlaw
Jordan Reid, Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network, wrote a feature article that highlights Kinlaw’s path from homelessness to the NFL. Reid described Kinlaw as “a taller interior defensive line prospect” that “has plenty enough knee bend and flexibility that enables him to pack an urgent first step. He’s powerful and has surprising strength… causing many blockers to finish on the ground only seconds after being engaged in matchups.”
So while he might be an extremely impressive prospect with a high ceiling, there are still areas he has to work on.
Reid said that while Kinlaw’s long arms are an advantage, “his hand placement and locations are sporadic. Kinlaw doesn’t know when and where to place his hands depending on the direction of the play and exactly the situation he’s in. Strike zones, meaning target areas on the blockers bodies, are inconsistent and knowing which regions to place them in need improvement in order to become even better as a pass rusher and run defender.”
Even though Kinlaw may be a bit raw —as most college players are — he seems like the next project for Vikings’ defensive line coach Andre Patterson. Patterson has been instrumental in developing defensive line talents such as Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter.
We’re still a ways away from the 2020 NFL Draft, but Kinlaw is certainly a prospect the Vikings will be keeping tabs on through the entire process.