For San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw, there wasn't anything particularly memorable about South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw back in October 2017.
Kinlaw's Gamecocks had just pummeled Greenlaw's Arkansas Razorbacks 48-22, with a sophomore Kinlaw posting three tackles, including one for a loss.
But a couple of weeks before this year's NFL draft, Kinlaw's name reemerged on Greenlaw's radar. That's because Greenlaw had begun to hear rumblings of the Niners' interest in Kinlaw with their first pick in the draft. With stalwart DeForest Buckner traded to the Indianapolis Colts for that 13th selection, the 3-technique defensive tackle position was suddenly a pressing need, and Greenlaw had a sneaking suspicion that Kinlaw might just be the choice to fill it.
After trading down one spot to No. 14, the 49ers selected Kinlaw, and Greenlaw thinks the rookie can have an impact right away.