49ers Matchup of the Day: Javon Kinlaw vs. Colton McKivitz

The matchup of the day at 49ers training camp lasted 60 seconds tops.
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The matchup of the day at 49ers training camp lasted 60 seconds tops.

It was rookie defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw -- a first-round pick -- versus rookie guard Colton McKivitz -- a fifth-round pick. They faced each other back to back during a one-on-one pass-rush drill.

Kinlaw was supposed to win -- he has replaced All Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner in the 49ers defense. Kinlaw is supposed to start as a rookie and contend for the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, which Nick Bosa won last season. Lots of pressure on Kinlaw.

And no pressure on McKivitz. He’s a fifth-round pick -- he can be a backup his entire career. If he becomes a starter, he will exceed expectations.

So that’s the background.

When McKivitz and Kinlaw faced each other the first time Saturday, Kinlaw tried to do a quick move to the inside, but McKivitz blocked it. He stood up Kinlaw -- just stopped him. Impressive, considering how huge Kinlaw is.

Thirty seconds later, they faced each other again. This time, Kinlaw tried to beat McKivitz around the edge, but McKivitz punched him and knocked Kinlaw off balance, and Kinlaw fell on his back. McKivitz pancaked him. Good thing the 49ers don’t allow the media to film practice this season, because that clip would have gone viral.

Kinlaw had good moments during practice, like when he faced center Daniel Brunskill. Kinlaw pushed him around. But he couldn’t push around McKivitz, who might just be the 49ers’ best rookie this season. It’s early, but he’s a contender.

McKivitz won the matchup of the day. Call it a T.K.O.