Why Nick Bosa believes Javon Kinlaw is perfect fit for 49ers' defense

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Nick Bosa has yet to step on the same field as 49ers rookie defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, but he already knows what to expect.

“Oh, man, he just fits our scheme so perfectly,” Bosa said of the former South Carolina standout during the 49ers’ State of the Franchise virtual event on 49ers.com.

The 49ers selected Kinlaw with the No. 14 overall pick to replace DeForest Buckner, whom the club traded to the Indianapolis Colts in March.

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Kinlaw on Friday officially signed a four-year contract worth approximately $15.5 million. Because of the league-wide cancellation of the offseason program, Kinlaw has yet to report to the team’s Santa Clara facility or step on the practice field with defensive line coach Kris Kocurek.

“I know Kris is champing at the bit to get him in the building and get him doing some get-offs,” Bosa said. “I’m just so excited to play with the caliber of player like that.

“it’s going to be interesting to see how he picks everything up, not being in the building. He looks like he’s going to be a great fit. He seems like a great kid.”

Bosa said the additional meeting time this offseason through video technology was important due to the intricacies of what Kocurek teaches his defensive linemen. He believes his familiarity with the system will enable him to build on what he did as a rookie. 

Bosa, the No. 2 overall pick in last year's draft, earned the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year last season after registering nine sacks during the regular season and four more in the postseason.

“it’s really helpful to get a year under it because there’s a learning curve,” Bosa said. “But once you get it, it’s unbelievable. But it takes a little bit of time. Now we’re going to walk straight into knowing the technique and improve it.”

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Kinlaw is expected to step in as an immediate starter in base situations for the 49ers to tighten up the team’s interior run defense.

General manager John Lynch said the 49ers felt fortunate to move back one spot and still select Kinlaw in the draft.

"Going in, I would say, with the 13th pick, we had probably three guys that we were going to stand pat," Lynch said. "If they were there, we were drafting them. When we arrived at 13, those three were still there. And so, at that point, we start saying, 'Wow, let's try to find a trade partner.' But we don't want to go back too far because Kinlaw was No. 1 on that list.’”

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