Why Nick Bosa Believes Javon Kinlaw will "Kill It" with 49ers

Grant Cohn

Nick Bosa is the Kyle Shanahan of the 49ers locker room.

I’ll explain.

Shanahan isn’t the voice of the 49ers --- John Lynch is. Just like Richard Sherman is the voice of the locker room. Lynch and Sherman are two Stanford men who are extremely polished and always say the right thing.

Shanahan and Bosa aren’t nearly as polished or eager to talk to the media, but still give excellent, honest, in-depth answers. Probably the best answers of anyone in the organization. They can’t help themselves.

This week, a reporter asked Bosa to give his initial impression of rookie defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw. Bosa could have done what most football players do -- give vague, cliche praise and move on. But that’s not Bosa’s style.

Here’s what Bosa said about Kinlaw:

“Javon is a really good kid. He’s really hard-working in the meeting room. He knows all his stuff really well. He doesn’t seem like a rookie out there. We’ve only been out to a couple walkthroughs so far, and he knows his stuff and he doesn’t look like a rookie. And he’s one of the biggest humans I’ve ever seen in person. That says a lot when you’ve had Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner on your team. I’m just excited for him to have this opportunity and I think he’s going to kill it.”

Bosa was extremely specific. He didn’t say Kinlaw will be great -- too early to say that. They haven’t even practiced together yet. But Bosa did say Kinlaw is a pro. And that’s a big compliment coming from Bosa. Because Kinlaw has to replace DeForest Buckner, who is the ultimate pro. And Bosa knows that.

Meaning Kinlaw is on the right track. Good news for the 49ers.

You may not remember, but last year during training camp, a reporter asked Bosa which player stood out the most to him. And he instantly said Arik Armstead. Said Armstead was the best player on the field. And Bosa’s words were prophetic. Armtead went on to lead the 49ers in sacks last season.

Bosa knows what he’s talking about. He wouldn’t praise Kinlaw if the rookie didn’t deserve it.

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Comments (5)
No. 1-5
Mitchell Alan
Mitchell Alan

Wouldn't it be great if Kinlaw's knee was never an issue again?

Yeah, it sure would be. But it WAS an issue late last year. And there's been no real football since.


Grant, again this was an excellent article, well-balanced, and how you present it is good acting. Your compatriots should pay closer attention to your delivery which is very entertaining (which is the point).

I have to applaud you again for this website. You are doing a number of really good things to keep us informed and entertained:
Your round-tables take a topic and pretty much elicit all points of view in one take. Very entertaining and educational for a fan,
Your use of video in a segment to emphasize your point is very helpful,
As mentioned above your presentation is a good balance between the usual deadpan delivery and the gratuitous over acting of others.
Every day I get at least four reports from SI, from different voices and points of view to satisfy the hunger of fans like me.
As I see it you are killing the other sites, and especially those lazy buggers at ESPN who cannot even manage one measly new article a day. Days go by with the same report – we have four contenders in our division and they cannot come up with at least one report a day. Unacceptable. I am sure this is a result of your drive and effort and for this I am grateful.


Bosa keeps it real. That’s what I like about him. Not only is he right about Kinlaw being huge( he’s the same size as Trent Williams 6’5’’ 325 lbs!!) but he’s going to have a great opportunity to shine playing alongside guys like Bosa, Armstead, Jones, and Ford. He couldn’t of landed in a better situation.


I agree as long as Javon stays healthy overall, but especially his knee.


It's good to see Grant finally coming around on Javon. Javon will "Kill It" this fall and hopefully be up for Defensive Rookie of the Year!