Draft Profile: South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw

Vito Chirco

Defensive line is one of the many needs the Lions have to address this offseason.

If they don't do it by taking former Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown or former Ohio State EDGE defender Chase Young at No. 3 overall, they could trade down and draft former South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw later in the first round (in the 10-15 pick range).

Kinlaw, standing at 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds, is the definition of a supremely gifted pass rusher.

In fact, the physical specimen recorded the highest pass-rush grade among defensive tackles in each of the last two seasons, according to Pro Football Focus.

During his time at South Carolina (from 2017-19), he logged 18 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks in 37 games -- including six TFL and six sacks during his 2019 campaign.

For his efforts in his final season as a Gamecock, he was named first-team All-America by the Associated Press plus first-team All-SEC by the coaches in the conference.

One of the best qualities of Kinlaw's game -- along with his superb upper-body strength -- is his ability to play all three downs.

It's a trait that will allow him to slide right in and make an immediate impact on an NFL team's D-line.

As Benjamin Solak of The Draft Network writes, "Kinlaw is a candidate for Pro Bowl bids the moment he steps on the field, and has the physical tools of the top defensive tackles in the league if he continues to grow."

It would make him an interesting get for the Lions, if they decide to deal Matthew Stafford for additional draft picks or trade back in the NFL Draft with a team looking to acquire former Alabama passer Tua Tagovailoa at No. 3 -- such as the Las Vegas Raiders (which possess the No. 12 and No. 19 picks).

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