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Morning Report: Is Javon Kinlaw Primed for a Breakout Sophomore Season?

Good Morning Faithful,

Here are the top 49ers headlines for Wednesday, January 27.

New and Notable

49ers Re-Sign RB Jeff Wilson Jr.

In 2020, Wilson Jr. led the team with 126 carries for 600 yards and seven touchdowns, all single-season career highs. He also tallied career highs in receptions (13), receiving yards (133) and receiving touchdowns (three).

Pro Football Focus' Top 6 Rookies Most Likely to Have Breakout Seasons in 2021

Following the conclusion of the 2020 NFL regular season, Pro Football Focus highlighted six rookies who are in the best positions to have second year leaps. Coming in on the list is San Francisco's 14th-overall selection Javon Kinlaw. During his rookie season, Kinlaw saw action in 14 games (12 starts) and recorded 1.5 sacks, 33 total tackles, four quarterback hits and an interception returned for a touchdown.

Here's what the analytics site had to say:

"I wouldn't expect Kinlaw to make a jump to elite status in 2021, but a breakout to a certain degree is in the cards. Again, this rookie class was at a disadvantage more than any other set of first-year players in NFL history due to the coronavirus-impacted offseason. Kinlaw recognized coming out of college that his pass-rush repertoire was an area of weakness and knew it was bound to improve with better coaching. I alluded to his bull rush when asking him a question at last year's NFL combine, and this was his response:

"'I haven't really scratched the surface with my pass rush. A lot of the times, I'll just be out there bull rushing — just walking guys back. So, I feel like once I get the right coaching, the sky's the limit.'

"Another year with the 49ers coaching staff could do wonders for Kinlaw. He could be in line for a similar career trajectory as Stephon Tuitt, who struggled as a rookie (49.9 PFF grade) and was actually PFF lead draft analyst Mike Renner's player comparison for Kinlaw in last year’s PFF Draft Guide."

Quick Hits

According to Pro Football Focus, over the last two seasons Jeff Wilson Jr. has the seventh-best rushing grade when in scoring distance among running backs (minimum of 50 attempts).


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