The 2020 NFL Draft is under a month away and South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw sent the Detroit Lions a message on Twitter, reminding them not to forget about him.
Kinlaw was a dominating force in college and is someone who has been on the Lions radar for some time now. When mock drafts picked up late in the season, Kinlaw was routinely connected to the Lions , creating a nice blend of talent and need.
At the Senior Bowl, Kinlaw continued his reign of dominance and while the Lions weren’t the staff coaching him, he surely got their attention with his frame (6-5, 324, 34.88″ arm length) and play strength during practices.
Unfortunately, Kinlaw injured his knee during Senior Bowl practices and even though it was fully healed at the NFL Combine for medical checks, the rehab process slowed his training progress and he elected not to participate in testing/on-field drills.
Now, with Pro Days canceled, Kinlaw won’t have the opportunity to showcase his athleticism ahead of the draft and, in turn, he has flown a bit under the radar as most haven’t seen him perform in over two months.
Today, the Lions Twitter account ran a promotion asked people to respond to their tweet with their last name and number for a possible custom phone wallpaper — and Kinlaw seized the opportunity to remind them he should still be in the mix at the top of the draft:
Kinlaw wore No. 3 in college, but if he were drafted by the Lions, per NFL rules, he’d have to switch to a new number, but the message Kinlaw delivered wasn’t really about a number and more about him thinking he’d look good in Honolulu Blue.
And quite frankly, he’s not wrong. The Lions still need to add a penetrating defensive interior force and Kinlaw emphatically checks that box. He is primarily a penetrating 3-technique, but can also spend time at the 1-, 4i-, and 5-techniques. With length and power his power tools, Kinlaw is an elite run defender with more pass-rushing skills than he is given credit for.
Kinlaw is perfect for the Lions scheme and could easily be among the top-5 targets on the Lions draft board — and could honestly be as high as No. 3 likely behind only Ohio State’s Chase Young and Jeff Okudah.
If the Lions trade out of the three spot, and if Young and Okudah are off the board, Kinlaw may very well be wearing Honolulu Blue come April.