San Francisco 49ers 2020 NFL Draft grades: Kinlaw, Aiyuk lead way

NFL Draft, San Francisco 49ers
Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina Gamecocks

Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers will hope their 2020 NFL Draft choices can help them get back to, and this time win, the Super Bowl.

Without a ton of picks, the San Francisco 49ers had to try to find a way to make the most out of each and every one they did have.

Early on, they did just that, drafting two starting-caliber players in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. After that though, things got a little tougher. Their next pick didn’t come until the fifth round, and it is extremely difficult to find productive players for the year in that range.

14

Javon Kinlaw

DT South Carolina

Arik Armstead, Joey Bosa, and Solomon make up a strong defensive line in the NFL. Now, add Javon Kinlaw to the mix. That is a sure recipe for success in San Francisco. He has  so many elite physical traits and has been able to use his size, length and power to overwhelm opponents.

At South Carolina, Kinlaw earned First-Team Associated Press All-America and first-team All-SEC honors even though his defensive production numbers didn’t properly reflect how dominant he was. He had 35 tackles and six sacks last year.

25

Brandon Aiyuk

WR Arizona State

Emmanuel Sanders decided to leave San Francisco and bring his skills to the New Orleans Saints. The 49ers then needed a wide receiver to play alongside Deebo Samuel. Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk will be that man.

“Brandon Aiyuk is a dangerous run-after-the-catch guy,” NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Donte Whitner said. “He’s a guy that will fit right into Kyle Shanahan’s system, along with the wide receiver screens, the [Run-Pass Options], and just getting this guy in space.

“He comes alive with the ball in his hands, that’s his No. 1 attribute. He has the space and the burst to hit the open spots, get in and out of routes. He sort of reminds me of Doug Baldwin, receiver that [played] for the Seattle Seahawks.”

That is a great comparison for Aiyuk, and if he has a Doug Baldwin career the 49ers will be very happy.

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