Sports Info Solutions (SIS) brings you the second annual edition of The SIS Football Rookie Handbook, with scouting reports and statistical breakdowns on over 280 college football players who are likely to be drafted or signed as rookie free agents in 2020 (a glossary for the below stats can be found here). New features for this year include unique and informative NFL team pages, research deep-dives by the SIS R&D team, and—for the first time ever—the NCAA version of their flagship football statistic, Total Points

For our second defensive tackle preview, we will look at Javon Kinlaw. A brief explanation of our defensive tackle grading scale can be found in our preview of Derrick Brown from earlier this week.

Javon Kinlaw: DT Rank 2 of 18 | Final Grade: 6.8

Report by Logan King

One Liner 

Kinlaw is an explosive athlete who has the power and disruptiveness to be a solid contributor, but needs to improve on his instincts and technique in both the pass and run games in order to take his game to the next level.


Kinlaw plays defensive tackle in a multiple defensive scheme, which employs a variety of 2- ,3-, and 4-man fronts. He lines up anywhere from the nose to the 3-technique on most plays and is given both one-gap and two-gap responsibilities. Following his time in 2016 at Jones County JC, he played in 37 games for the Gamecocks, starting 34 of them. He played the 2018 season with an injured hip and missed the Belk Bowl after surgery. A unique combination of size and athleticism makes him one of the most naturally gifted players on the field. Kinlaw is a tough, physical player who performs well in high-leverage situations.

Run Game 

In the run game, Kinlaw combines both quickness and a strong first punch at the POA. He relies more on strength and explosiveness with his hands than with placement and technique in the run game. When given one-gap responsibility, his get-off and power allow him to crash through the line and disrupt the handoff. In two-gap responsibility, he typically stalemates blockers, but flashes potential to push the line of scrimmage and disrupt the backfield. Against double teams, Kinlaw stalemates at best, but is often blocked out of the play. When in the backfield, he can produce tackles for loss through blocks, but struggles to anticipate the play and locate the ball carrier at times. He has the athleticism to move laterally and make plays on runs to the opposite side, but shows inconsistent lateral strength and reactive athleticism to fight through oncoming blockers.

Pass Game 

In the pass game, Kinlaw explodes off the line and is able to control defenders through heavy hands and good placement. He wins primarily with power, demonstrating a strong bull rush and devastating push-pull moves. He also shows the athleticism to dip and rip through gaps to pressure the passer. At times, he is unable to get through the line due to a lack of creativity. Though his overall pass-rush repertoire is limited, he has the physical tools to expand beyond his existing skillset. On stunts, he flows across the line fluidly and attacks his gap with ferocity. He displays adequate body control through the line, sometimes falling off balance when he does not correctly anticipate the blocker’s movements. When locked up, most times he gives up on the play and stops attacking the backfield.

Last Word 

Kinlaw projects as a starting 3-technique with one-gap responsibility in a 4-3 scheme while also having the ability to two-gap if needed. He will be an effective pass rusher on third downs given his skill set and mentality. He could play on special teams, but likely won’t do much due to a hot-and-cold motor.

Medical Summary

By John Verros

From a medical outlook, Javon Kinlaw has battled through a couple injuries that could impact his draft stock. Kinlaw played through a labral tear in his hip during the 2018 season. Once the season ended, he underwent surgery to fix the tear and returned in time for the start of the 2019 season. Even after being repaired, labral tears are known to potentially lead to joint degeneration or arthritis. More recently, Kinlaw was forced to pull out of the Senior Bowl due to knee tendinitis. He has since said that the issue is under control, but it’s worth mentioning that there may be an underlying cause to the tendinitis. While the tendinitis may be a one-time issue for the young player, this could also be caused by a chronic or recurring issue in the structure of the knee. Either way, Kinlaw seems to be healthy today and these issues shouldn’t be too detrimental to see him slide deep into the draft.

Explosion at the snapDouble-team blocks
Backfield disruptionPass-rush repertoire
PowerHot-and-cold motor

Critical Factors

1st Step Explosion7
Play Strength6
Pass Rush6

Positional Factors

Shed Ability5
Hand Use6
Body Control5


TacklingPass Rush


YearBroken TacklesBT%Tackle ShareATD+Pressure ShareHolds DrawnEPA on TFLEPA on Sacks

Deep Dive

Lined UpPass RushWhen Run AtTotal Points
YearNT%DT%DE%Pressure%Sack%Bounce%Pos%Run DefPass RushTotal