49ers left guard Laken Tomlinson has been matched up with first-round pick Javon Kinlaw at times during training camp practices and the rookie’s size has made an impression on him.
Tomlinson said Kinlaw, who is listed at 6’5″ and 319 pounds, is “just a specimen,” but Kinlaw has made a different observation about his tussles with the veteran guard. Kinlaw was “used to playing bully ball in college” and has to adjust to the fact that he won’t be able to get away with that in the NFL regardless of how big he is.
“I’ve probably all my life been the biggest guy. So that’s nothing new,” Kinlaw said, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. “But honestly, coming in, I thought I’d be like another guy. Then I look around and, dang, I’m the biggest. But just because I’m big, it doesn’t mean anything. Everybody’s strong and big, so it’s all about technique for me now.”
Kinlaw said he knew that he didn’t have the “best craft” coming out of South Carolina and that he’d “be lying if I thought it was good” right now, but feels confident he’s improving as he gets used to what it will take to succeed at the professional level. With the 49ers counting on him to fill DeForest Buckner‘s former spot on the defense, the hope is that learning curve will be a quick one.