Good trade. Bad pick.
The 49ers originally owned the No. 2 pick and they traded it to the Chicago Bears for the third pick, the 67th pick, the 111th pick and a third-rounder in 2018. The Bears drafted quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, whom the 49ers almost certainly didn’t want. Phenomenal trade for the 49ers.
Then with the third pick, the 49ers selected Solomon Thomas, a defensive lineman from Stanford. Thomas is talented, but not for what the 49ers need. The D-line was the strongest position group on the defense coming into the draft. Thomas is the third defensive lineman the Niners have taken in the first round the past three years.
Who on the 49ers will cover people next season?
The team lists Thomas as a defensive end, but on passing downs, such as third-and-medium or third-and-long, Thomas will play defensive tackle and line up across from a guard. And the Niners already have two players who do that — DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead, the past two first-round picks.
That means Thomas may not play all three downs for the 49ers. With the third pick, they needed a three-down player.
Instead of Thomas, the Niners should have traded down one more time for a corner or a safety. Had they done that, they could have gotten value and filled a need at the same time. The difference in draft grades between Thomas and the ninth or 10th pick this year is fractions of a point.