Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
With the 12th pick, Tafur predicts that the Raiders will select defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw out of South Carolina. Kinlaw is the second best interior defensive lineman in the draft after Auburn’s Derrick Brown and is the type of game wrecker that you can build your defense around.
Tafur writes that Kinlaw “dominated Senior Bowl practices with his bull rushes, is very coachable and it sure looks like his best football is ahead of him”. The Athletic’s Josh Kendall, the South Carolina beat writer, added that it was Kinlaw’s dominant performance against Georgia that propelled him to the top of the draft boards.
For all the talk about Chris Jones being the number one target for the Raiders in free agency, including by yours truly, there may be a younger version of him waiting to be scooped up in the draft. Both players are listed at 6’6″, 310+ lbs, and have remarkably similar body types.
We will have to wait and see what official combine measurements are to see exactly how similar they are but much like Jones, Kinlaw is a devastating force in the interior and can free up the young stud defensive ends to wreak havoc in the backfield.
Many Raider fans were hoping that Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons would fall to them at 12 but this mock has him going inside the top-10 to the Carolina Panthers who just lost Luke Kuechly to retirement. Other fans are hoping the Raiders draft a true number one wide receiver but thanks to the depth in the draft, they can do so with their other pick in the first round.