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S. Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw overcomes challenging past, is now a top DT prospect in 2020 NFL draft

It’s hard to overlook a man who’s 6-foot-6, 310 pounds.

But that’s exactly what happened with South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, who entered the season as a Day 2 or even a Day 3 prospect on most draft boards and mock drafts.

Now? After a second-consecutive stellar season, Kinlaw is widely considered the second-best DT in the 2020 NFL draft, behind Auburn’s Derrick Brown. Most analysts peg Kinlaw as a first-round prospect who could go within the top 20 selections – which is fairly high for a defensive tackle.

“Big, powerful man,” NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah said of Kinlaw, via NFL.com “When they played against the big-time opponents in the SEC, he was a dominant player. … He’s an easy scout for me. He’s a top-20 pick, that’s where he starts in this process.”

Kinlaw had 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble this season against SEC competition. That includes a 4-tackle, 1-sack performance against a Georgia team that’s sending three offensive linemen to the 2020 draft.

Overall, the senior finished with 35 tackles, 6 tackles for loss and 6 sacks, giving him career totals of 93 tackles, 18 TFLs and 10.5 sacks to go along with 10 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries and 3 blocked kicks.

He’s also a player to root for, as he’s overcome a challenging upbringing. His past, along with his unique personality, will be scrutinized during the evaluation process leading up to the draft.

“This is PURE speculation based on what I’ve heard and should be treated as much, but keep an eye on Javon Kinlaw, who has been spectacular on the field but has some quirks that may turn a few people off,” said Tony Pauline, NFL Draft Analyst and Insider for Pro Football Network, in an email interview with Fanspeak.

Kinlaw is currently the No. 14 overall prospect in the latest Fanspeak-Steve big board.

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