During his three-year career at South Carolina, Javon Kinlaw never had an interception. It took only 11 games for the former Gamecock to notch the first pick of his rookie NFL season, though. And once he had the ball, he made an exceptional play.

Kinlaw not only recorded his first interception in the third quarter of the San Francisco 49ers’ game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, but he returned it 27 yards for his first career touchdown. Kinlaw hauled in an errant pass from Rams quarterback Jared Goff, rumbled down the right sideline and dove into the end zone for the score.

Kinlaw’s pick-six pushed the 49ers’ lead to 14-3:


Kinlaw was selected by San Francisco with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Entering Sunday, he had 22 tackles through his first 10 games. Last Sunday, he had 1 1/2 sacks in the 49ers’ loss to the New Orleans Saints, the first of his career.

It appears that Kinlaw is starting to make more of an impact on San Francisco’s defense, which is what the team likely expected when it used its first-round pick on the former South Carolina defensive tackle. And while he’s not known for interceptions and touchdowns, he still found a way to make a big play Sunday at Los Angeles.