The former South Carolina defensive end fills a hole left by the 49ers’ trade of DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts earlier this year. The Niners had traded down to the No. 14 pick, swapping with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Kinlaw has an incredible story of how he went from being practically homeless to becoming a sought-after prospect. He explained his story at the Senior Bowl.
“Just growing up in northeast Washington, D.C., pretty much homeless, living in basements. We went without electricity, no water, things like that,” Kinlaw said in January. “We had to use the neighbor's hose to fill up totes of water. We would take them back in the house. We had gas, a gas stove. We would light the stove with a little match or something, get a tall pot, boil the water, mix it with some cold water, put it in a bucket, take it upstairs, take a shower like that."
“At a young age, we just thought that was normal," he continued. "That's how we was living, we didn't know how everybody else was living, but we knew that's how we was living and we was cool with that, especially me. But now that I look back at it, it was tough, man. It made me a man at a young age.”
Kinlaw played in 12 games during his senior season. He recorded a career-high six sacks and 35 tackles. In his junior season, he played in 10 games and recorded four sacks and 30 tackles
San Francisco is the defending NFC champion, and adding a piece like Kinlaw will make them more dangerous.