We are now a little over a week away from the 2020 NFL Draft and as we approach the closest thing sports fans have to a live sporting event during this COVID-19 pandemic, sportsbooks continue to give bettors ample opportunity for action. Javon Kinlaw is an incredibly explosive player, who, no matter your team allegiance, is a man all football fans should be rooting for on Sundays.
Kinlaw, like many athletes, has had plenty of adversity to overcome throughout his life. As a child, he and his family bounced around the Washington D.C. area, often landing in lodging devoid of running water or electricity. The NFL franchise that invests in Kinlaw will get a highly motivated player who will never take his opportunity to play in the NFL for granted.
William Hill Sportsbook has set the over/under on the overall draft position for star interior defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw at 13.5.
What does history tell us?
Since 2010, a total of 72 defensive linemen have been selected in the first round of the NFL draft. The most recent defensive lineman to be taken No. 1 overall was Myles Garrett, who the Browns selected with the first pick of the 2017 draft. Jadeveon Clowney, chosen by the Houston Texans back in 2014, is the only other player besides Garrett at the position to be selected with the first overall pick during that span.
Last year’s draft produced the most when a total of 10 defensive linemen were taken in the opening round. The oddsmakers project that we will see half as many taken in the first round this year. After Ohio State’s defensive end Chase Young, Auburn’s defensive tackle Derrick Brown and Kinlaw are a near-consensus among all respected mock drafts to be the first two defensive lineman taken in the top part of the first round.
Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
According to our SI South Carolina Gamecocks Maven, Chaunte'l Powell, Kinlaw has the raw tools and skill to develop into the best pass rusher in this year's draft. The standout arrived at South Carolina after spending his freshman season at Jones County Junior College in 2016. In three years with the Gamecocks, Kinlaw transformed into one of the best interior defensive linemen in the country. In 37 games at South Carolina, Kinlaw accumulated 18 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, deflected 10 passes and blocked three kicks. In his senior season in 2019, he posted six tackles for loss, six sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries.
The oddsmakers at William Hill currently have Kinlaw’s draft position listed with an over/under of 13.5. If Derrick Brown comes off the board to Carolina at No. 7 before the Jaguars pick at No. 9, I envision Kinlaw coming off the board to Jacksonville. A player as talented and big as Kinlaw makes perfect sense in the middle of a line that features two dominant edge rushers in Yannick Ngakoue and Josh Allen. The 49ers (after acquiring pick No. 13 from Indianapolis in the DeForest Bruckner trade) having strong interest continues to gain steam as the draft approaches. Should Kinlaw see a further drop that most do not envision, the Falcons at No. 16 will likely stop his fall. It should not go unnoticed that when South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp was running the show for the Florida Gators, current Falcons head coach Dan Quinn was his defensive coordinator in 2011 and 2012.
There won’t be a long wait between Brown and Kinlaw hearing their names called. Both have All-Pro potential with Kinlaw being a player who I believe will never take a single play off, whether it be in practice or in actual games. He dominated Senior Bowl competition and I am willing to gamble his hunger and drive is enough to draw the attention of one team within the top 13 willing to invest on a kid who’s desire to provide for his family will translate to big things at the next level.
The Play: UNDER 13.5 (-110)
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