In various mock drafts, the Atlanta Falcons are linked to South Carolina’s impressively strong defensive tackle, Javon Kinlaw. And according to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, coach Dan Quinn has all the insider information he needs on Kinlaw.
Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp told McClure that he has been talking up the 6-foot-5, 324-pound DT for quite some time now. Quinn and Muschamp coached together at the University of Florida where they developed a bond.
“Dan and I talk all the time, so we’re always talking about players and scheme,” Muschamp said. “I think J.K. would be outstanding with the Falcons, especially with Dan and [defensive tackles coach] Jess Simpson. He’s a big, explosive player. I think his best ball is ahead of him.”
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Kinlaw’s Has a Huge Upside
At the end of his Gamecock career, Kinlaw had tallied 18 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks in 37 games. He also accumulated three forced fumbles, four fumbles recovered, deflected 10 passes and blocked three kicks. He even managed to drop 40 pounds which helped him see more playing time.
“In our three years, I look at the improvement from Year 1 to Year 3, and J.K. really got himself in the best shape he’s ever been in his life going into his senior year,” Muschamp said. “He was on a mission, and he played that way. He’s an explosive athlete that is very difficult to block one-on-one. He can win on the rush inside for you. He can push the pocket in the middle, which is so critical especially as quick as the ball is getting out on that level. He’s just a guy with a huge upside.”
Kinlaw will fit in perfectly next to Grady Jarrett on the interior. Jarrett already commands a double team and with Kinlaw’s raw strength and talent, he might too. Being able to hold his own will give other linebackers a chance to make some big plays. He’d learn a lot need to Jarrett.
“Dan Quinn will have all the information on J.K., I know that.”
Hayden Hurst Approves
Falcons’ new tight end Hayden Hurst played at South Carolina before entering the NFL. He made it publically known on Twitter that he approves of having his old teammate in Atlanta.
Hurst responded to Matthew Tabeek’s mock draft analysis on Kinlaw with eyeball emojis and tagged Kinlaw’s Twitter handle. Kinlaw responded with a thinking face emoji.
Atlanta Falcons’ reporter Will McFadden detailed his size and speed combination and his ability to pressure the quarterbacks while talking with Tabeek.
“The problem with that size is sometimes he’ll pop up a little bit. He doesn’t stay as low in his stance. He’s got a great get off. I think he’s got a pretty good motor that could be worked on a little bit in the NFL. It kind of tapers off late in games. And that’s when he’ll expose himself a little bit more to offensive linemen. But that dude for his size is so good at shoot through gaps in a way that Grady Jarrett does. That would be such an interesting combination on the interior where quarterbacks like Tom Brady who’s now in the NFC South, they don’t like pressure in their face.”
Falcons may have blew it against Brady in Super Bowl LI, but he won’t be prepared to face Atlanta’s 2020 defense especially if Kinlaw is added to the roster.