Josh Kendall

Five Gamecocks most likely to be drafted in 2020, including one very high

South Carolina’s recently rough NFL Draft history could be coming to an end next season.

Gamecocks senior defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw is listed as the No. 7 player on the CBSSports.com’s list of top 100 players for the 2020 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-6, 302-pound defensive tackle from Charleston had 38 tackles and 4.5 sacks last season despite being slowed by a hip injury that necessitated postseason surgery and required him to miss spring practice.

“I am super excited to get to be able to coach a player like Javon,” first-year South Carolina defensive line coach John Scott Jr. said. “There are some things he does really, really well, and there are some things he can improve on. I think Javon can be a special guy. He’s got some definite, definite physical attributes that pertain to being a great player.”

Kinlaw would become the first Gamecocks defensive player drafted in the first round since Jadeveon Clowney was the No. 1 overall pick in 2014. Kinlaw has 58 tackles and 12 tackles-for-loss in two seasons at South Carolina. He spent 2016 at Jones County Junior College.

Senior wide receiver Bryan Edwards, who has 163 catches, 2,229 yards and 16 touchdowns in three seasons, is listed No. 40 on the CBS list.

The expected list of Gamecocks in the 2020 draft doesn’t end there as quarterback Jake Bentley, offensive linemen Donell Stanley and linebacker T.J. Brunson also will be in their final year of eligibility.

The Gamecocks have had only four players drafted into the NFL in the last three seasons, their worst such stretch since 1993-1995, when only two were picked.

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