Solomon Thomas must improve his pass-rush technique

The 49ers’ biggest deficiency Thursday night was their pass rush, and their worst pass rusher may have been their rookie first-round pick, Solomon Thomas.

Thomas isn’t a bad player. He’s a high-energy hustler. But he’s not an explosive playmaker and he doesn’t have good pass-rush technique. Every time he rushed against one of the Rams offensive tackles, he worked directly into that offensive tackle’s chest as if a magnet attracted them to one another.

Check out Thomas’ technique:

An edger rusher never should work directly into an offensive tackle’s chest — he would work an edge. He should work half the man.

That’s what Elvis Dumervil does. Dumervil is the 49ers’ best pass rusher. He has 99 sacks in his NFL career, and he had the Niners’ only sack Thursday night (it didn’t count because Dontae Johnson committed a holding penalty downfield).

Check out Dumervil’s technique during that sack:

Dumervil worked the outside edge of the right tackle. Perfect technique.

The Niners need to play Dumervil much more often.  He played only 10 snaps against the Rams.

This article has 190 Comments

  1. This was just an awful pick. Without overcomplicating it, it’s because he isn’t an edge rusher. He is a tweener. He isn’t fast enough or have the right build to work as an edge guy and isn’t big/strong enough to consistently win inside where Buckner plays and according to most accounts is one of the best linemen in the league. This shouldn’t be surpring, a lot of people/writers said this was the book on this guy. Why we didn’t take Hooker when SHS is supposedly the most important position on this D is beyond me. Ward could have played corner which is a major concern. It’s as if we are forcing guys on Dline outside their strengths just because we wasted first rounders on them and have to get them out there

    1. I agree with what your saying as well as the comment above. But Thomas is a Justin Smoth type player that’s where his value as a top 5 pick comes up.

    2. He wasn’t drafted to be an edge rusher… he was always an interior rusher. On passing downs he is moved inside…
      Which was always the reason I questioned the pick.

    3. Uh, Thomas did 30 reps on the bench. Buckner only did 19. Thomas is way, way, way, WAY stronger than Buckner. It’s not even close. Buckner is terrible at the point of attack against the run…but you’d have to actually watch and understand football to know this.

      Size, in and of itself, doesn’t mean squat. Gilbert Brown was 400 pounds of blubber and a mediocre starter. It’s what the size correlates to that matters – is it muscle, or is it fat? Thomas is 273 pounds of pure, chiseled muscle.

  2. I’m not ready to write the kid off but he sure has a long way to go to actually contributing on defense. I just don’t see how you bump Thomas down to the interior – he’s not big enough. He will need to make his living as an edge rusher but he hasn’t shown any natural instincts or play making ability to actually be an edge rusher. Right now, this looks like a head scratcher of a pick for Lynch.

    1. Solomon Thomas just does not have “the length” to play DE as witnessed by how he was dwarfed by the Rams tackles last Thursday. He really did look short-armed and could not disengage or demonstrate a counter move once the OT locked out on him. He also does not demonstrate the “edge rusher speed” of Dumervil. Thomas exhibited the exact same technique every single pass rush the other night……where are the counter moves; where is the RIP technique; he cannot live by the bull rush……hopefully, somebody on the Niner staff is coaching him up on some other techniques…….maybe even Dumervil. Mack for the Raiders struggled a bit his rookie season, too; however, you could see the EXPLOSIVENESS in his get off as a pass rusher, and he also made plays while playing as a stand-up backer. Other than his lateral pursuit and tackle on that toss to his side when he was playing RDE Thursday night, did he make another play or even create a PRESSURE on Goff? He has got some work to do, but at least he appears to have the tenacity. Let’s see what he looks like in week 8 or 9 before we toss him out with the remnants of the Gatorade bucket.

    2. Size isn’t the issue in a 1 gap scheme. If this was a 3-4, yes, you’d be correct. But in a 1 gap scheme, he is to penetrate and split OL and be disruptive in the backfield. …basically do what he did in college his entire career to the point he was chosen at #3. Let the man be our Bryant Young in this defense and use him just like Seifert designed.

      1. It’s a valid point NCommand, we’ll see if Thomas can bulk up like Bryant Young did and get more physical at the point of attack. Young played at over 290lbs for most of his career. I’m certainly willing to be patient with Thomas. Bryant Young took a couple seasons to develop into the dominant player he became. However, seems like the 49ers thought they were drafting a guy who could dominate off the edge, which seems wildly off base to me. He did most of his best work for Stanford on the interior of their line. That’s why a lot of people like myself were a little underwhelmed with the selection. It seemed likely that Thomas would be buried on the depth chart for his rookie season, and with as many needs as this team had, it seemed like there were better options.

      2. I get what your saying with the 1 gap vs 2 gap scheme but there is a point at which a player is just too light even in a 1 gap scheme. The 49ers roster lists Solomon Thomas at 273 lbs which may be big enough for him to get by in the interior. ESPN has Thomas listed at 256 lbs on their 49er roster. If Thomas is closer to 256 lbs thats just too small to play interior line in the NFL.

    3. Yet another dolt who thinks size is what determines success in the trenches. It isn’t. Strength and technique are. The greatest point of attack run defender in NFL history, Kevin Fagan, went about 265-275. You know why he dominated everyone he faced in the running game? Oh, that’s right, he also had a 550 pound bench press, which was a Miami school record, and was a tremendous leverage player thanks to his incredible work ethic to use that inhuman strength.

      Solomon Thomas is pure, chiseled muscle, did 30 reps at the combine (which, while nowhere near Fagan level, is still very strong…much stronger than Buckner and Armstead), and has an insane work ethic.

      You people also get so carried away in listed size it’s ridiculous. This just in: Weight fluctuates. A LOT. And NFL weight listings aren’t necessarily accurate.

      1. This ^ If you look at 4 of the top websites for NFL players (, ESPN, most people honestly just look at wikipedia) You’ll find a players weight can very from site to site by as much as 20 pounds, it’s very weird actually.

  3. If Thomas had been taken in the late teens to early twenties of the first round ,where he belonged,we wouldnt be caring about his lack of qb pressure so far.

    1. Well defined, Grant….too small for the inside…too slow with no footwork for the edge…Solomon’s best position is on the waiver wire….Blair is much better on the edge….

    2. The most logical comparison for Solomon Thomas is Joey Bosa. Both Thomas and Bosa play DE and were picked #3 in the draft. After Bosa’s 3rd game he had 4 sacks and 9 tackles. Bosa ended up with 10.5 sacks last year. After 3 games Solomon Thomas has 0 sacks and 7 tackles. Obviously its way too early to say who will be a better player but Bosa is way ahead of Thomas at this point in his career. That makes me think you are right about Thomas being drafted way too high based on his skill set.

        1. Long came out of college in 2008. The game has changed since then. I picked Bosa because Thomas and Bosa play the same position and were drafted in the exact same spot in back to back years. If you want to still say Long then he had 1 sack and 11 tackles in his first 3 games as a pro.

          Why do you say Long? Is it size similarity?

            1. Thomas, Bosa, and Long are all similar. 6’3, 6’4, 6’5 respectively. All within 5 pounds of each other coming out of college. All ran the 40 anywhere from 4.69-4.75. Bosa is a bit taller and leaner than the other 2 and he’s the slowest of all 3. I can see Long being a good comparison. So is Bosa.

            1. I think Bryant Young played in the low to mid 290’s for the bulk of his career. He did top out over 3 bills though. Bryant Young was also a freakishly strong kid. There is a story his teammates talk about when BY was a 278 lbs rookie, he tossed aside Minnesota’s 331 lbs OG Derrick Deese, like a rag doll. I was at the Monday night game late in 1998 VS the Giants, when Ken Norton speared BY and shattered his Tibia and Fibula. I’ll never forget the sound it made, Merton Hanks reaction to the injury, and the eerie hush that came over the stadium. It was very surreal.

              1. Minnesota…331 pounds…Derrick Deese? Uh, put the crackpipe down. Derrick Deese was a 49er, 289 pounds. And no, Bryant young came to Notre Dame a 245 pound linebacker. He never topped 290 in the NFL.

          1. I don’t see Bryant Young as a good comparison to Solomon Thomas. Young had an uncanny ability to play with amazing leverage which complemented his power. I don’t see that same style with Solomon Thomas.

  4. Let’s be fair , he got a late start ,because of the rules . Let’s give him till mid season mark . Than we take a good look . As all of you know practice makes perfect . Keep in mind there tackle whitmore was all pro . Believe it was with the Bengals . I think !

  5. And yes his technic ,needs work . Just not enough time to evaluate a rookie . He just left the jv ,and is now playing with the varsity .

  6. Hey Grant are we going to take a look at the play calling ,both offense and defense ?

    Think we could have a good decision with what was called ,on defense . But offense I think shanny nailed it . Especially with how some have been critical of his calls . I sure haven’t seen anyone give him props .

  7. Grant did all the pundits whiff when they gave John Lynch high praise for the draft. Thomas was taken too high, Foster has durability issues, Witherspoon can’t even be active on game day as a 3rd Rd pick. Williams was basically redshirted.

        1. Let’s face it, Reuben Foster saved that draft! If they hadn’t managed the Bears trade, and landed Foster, it would have been a very average draft at best. However, with the Bears trade, and Foster falling to the end of round one, they did manage a pretty decent draft haul. They collected a third-round pick this year (No. 67 overall), a fourth-round pick this year (111th overall) and a 2018 third-round pick for the swap of #2 & #3 with the Bears.

          Kittle, DJ Jones, Trent Taylor are all keepers for sure. I think Joe Williams will pay dividends next year, and Adrian Colbert has a lot of potential. If Weatherspoon develops into a starter, Thomas grows into a starting role, and CJB becomes at least a quality backup, it’s a solid A in my book.

          1. That’s a bit harsh considering the Kittle and Foster were starting and Taylor, Thomas and Brieda are contributing (understanding Brieda was a high priority FA)
            Thatsnot bad

  8. Agree Grant. Dumervil should be playing way more downs, no question about it. Let Thomas watch and learn. No sense in looking back. “What iffing” the draft doesn’t help the situation. Good coaching does however. That’s what they get paid for. Coach him up! What you don’t do is give up on your top draft pick after 3 NFL games. So to those that are complaining about Solomon, what’s your solution? Complain about the draft? Yea, that helps! How about Cutting him, benching him, trading him, flogging him, what??? What’s your solution?

  9. He wasn’t drafted to be an edge-rusher. He was drafted to play the run-stopping 6-Technique end and to come inside on obvious passing downs. And, he’s a rookie.

    This kind of whinging and carping is the same garbage Rice went through when he came to the NFL. Steve Young went threw it. Peyton Manning went through it. Lots of great player started rough.

    And three games in and you’re whining and insinuating that he’s a bust only shows your issues, not his.

    1. You don’t use the #3 pick on a run-stopping end and if he showed that he had a pass rush from the inside they would have him there doing it already. If this guy had any type of special or elite talent it would only take a few reps rushing from the inside for the coaches to go “whoah, that’s obviously where he belongs.” Hasn’t happened. Probably isn’t going to.

    2. It’s not about if he is a bust or not. He could def turn into a good player. I’m pretty sure it says that in the article. The problems are: 1) repetitive drafting on a team depleted of talent. We already have interior pass rushers, we used 1st round Picks on them! We basically drafted the same position 3 years straight. 2) not drafting an impact player at 3. People are being hard on him cuz ideally if you’re a top 3 pick on a bad team you shld be an instant playmaker, not a situational player that will hopefully be good in 3 years. Young won DROY I believe at 7 overall. Do we see that for Thomas?
      Sure the guy might develop into a nice player and cld even make a pro bowl or 2 but is that what you want at the number 3 pick after a 2-14 season, a ton of holes, and you drafted the one position we actually have one of the best players at??
      It’s fair critique not whining.

  10. The thing that surprises me is that he is almost exclusively playing the edge. I had assumed he would slide in to DT on passing downs. That’s where he would be best used as a pass rusher.

    1. That has surprised me, too. Maybe at this point they just want him to set the edge on base downs (esp. with Tank gone for the season).

      I have trying to gauge the opinions of Dennis Brown and Matt Ryan (both former D linemen) on his development. Brown thinks he is continuing to improve and the lack of reps is the primary reason for his relative ineffectiveness. Ryan thinks one of Thomas problems is that he does not have his head on a swivel in 5T and that he’s often getting crashed by TEs. Many of these are technique problems that they should be able to fix with coaching.

    2. That’s the problem scooter.
      He was always an interior rusher even in college his sacks came from the inside.
      When Razor and i debated aboutthe pick my questions were always based on if he could play the edge or not. Then when he was drafted the niners said their plan was essentially to slide him inside on passing downs. This kind or tells you the niners are going to moved away from Armstrong in my opinion as they are too heavily invested in a single position imho. And sadly neither can play the edge.

  11. on passing situations we need to put in Dumervil, Lynch on the outsides and Armstead, Buckner inside. Let Solomon play the base downs.

  12. Seb,

    When the anchor man AL Michaels, and his color commentator, Chris Collinsworth both comment on half the Raiders team taking a knee on the sideline in DC and actually were going to all stay in the locker room for the Anthem, and that Trump did more to incite America with his tweet about Colin Kaepernick; while the owners also are firing back at the president, this subject matter is no longer possible to avoid on a sports blog…..The NFL owners, the Sports anchors themselves, and the President have made this subject matter fair game.

    1. And Seb,

      Al Michaels did not wait until the half to bring up the Trump tweet or that half the Raiders took a knee during the Anthem, the Thursday Night football song was barely over when he broached the tweet story.

      It’s not the fans fault that the Commander and Chief likes to fire tweets onto sports blogs. But we would be remiss as football fans and sports bloggers not to respond.

      1. “This isn’t about the president being against anyone. This is about the president and millions of Americans being for something. Being for honoring our flag, honoring our national anthem, and honoring the men and women who fought to defend it.”

        1. Yah, yah mike, NFL players hate our country, and the only “real” American patriots live in the Bible Belt. And the First Amendment only applies to the Alt-Right.

          We know the drill. Blah, blah, blah.

          1. The 1st ammendment right is not even applicable here. So many people have just parroted responses. Here is some education. The 1st ammendment is referring to the Government taking away a citizen’s free speech and free expression. The english monarchy supressed the colonies and the constituion is directing the role of government over its citizens. The moment a citizen clocks into work, the constitution does not apply to speech or expression. You are a private employee for a private company.
            None of these NFL players have a “constitutional right” to kneel.

            1. Matt – just playing devil’s advocate here – but it sounds like what you are saying is that these players are not representing themselves, they are representing their employers, because they are taking a knee whilst wearing team’s colours, in the owner’s stadium, whilst being paid for their time, etc.

              If that is correct (and I’m not entirely sure it is, or should be) then doesn’t it become a discretion for the employers, rather than the president? And from what I saw on the weekend, the vast majority of owners are not only ok with their players taking this stand, but have actively spoken out against Trump themselves.

              So whether its a constitutional right or not is academic. They are not acting as citizens, they are acting as employees of a company that has given permission for it’s employees to do what they are doing.

              1. While I’m not a Trump fan, I think that Trump has directed much of his criticism toward the owners. Which means his position is consistent with both of you.

              2. I am not condoning or arguing what the President tweeted. I am merely correcting an academic error. All of these people saying it is the player’s constituional right to kneel and that the military fought to protect those rights are inaccurate.
                Drop the constituion from the argument. Inatead as you’ve noted it is a case of an employer allowing an employee to express themselves whilst on the clock.

            2. They have a right to kneel if the owners believe they have the right.

              It’s a fair point Matt.

              While you may technically be correct, this argument is certainly in the spirit of the First Amendment and an individual’s right to protest in a peaceful manner. And as long as the owners believe that it’s an important issue and one worth fighting for, it’s a moot point. The players are more or less unified on this (especially now after POTUS calling their brothers SOB’s, and insulting the cherished mothers) and the owners understand that silencing their players free speech on an issue they feel so passionately about, would do much more harm to their organizations than the backlash the league is currently dealing with from the fans.

              The Arizona Cardinals and Cowboys fans exposed the faux respect the flag / fake patriotism portion of the argument against the protests last night when they decided to boo the Cowboys’ and Cardinals’ protest despite the well thought out decision the teams made to honor and respect the flag (by their definition) by making the point of kneeling prior to the National Anthem, and then collectively standing in unison during the National Anthem.

              The NFL has always been the most political league in professional sports. This faux outrage from the 30% club, as well as POTUS (who didn’t disinvited the Patriots this year, or even tweet about the subject despite their most prominent white player choosing not to attend the White House visit, yet was quick to call out the Warriors Steph Curry and disinvite the Warriors) has more to do with the fact that these are primarily black men speaking their minds on social issues, than politics or patriotism. And when you call white supremacists who kill innocent people “very fine people”, yet call NFL players who are peacefully protesting for positive change SOB’s, you’ve exposed yourself and have already lost the debate with the majority of Americans.

              I understand the argument that people want to enjoy sports without being dragged into the political arena. I absolutely understand this argument, and I think it’s a valid argument to make. What I am not buying into is the faux patriotism part of the argument. A person can both respect our military and make a political / civil rights argument during the National Anthem. One isn’t exclusive of the other. In fact NFL players do a lot as an organization, and as individuals, to support our military. And there are plenty of active service men and military vets who support the players actions and believe one of the reasons they serve in the military is to assure people have the ability to exercise their constitutional rights in speaking out on an important, and admittedly uncomfortable social issues.

              1. These are Great points that I agree with.

                I wonder if the next step is for the DOD to withdraw the funding it gives NFL teams to play the anthem.

              2. NFL HQ and owners cannot tell the players not to demonstrate or to protest because how the players, coaches and support staff conduct themselves during the presentation of the colors and the playing of the national anthem was not negotiated in the previous CBA. If it has not been negotiated, a procedure cannot be imposed, similar to the fact as to how much of your stocking has to be exposed was negotiated as was having your jersey tucked in. However, you can bet every possible contentious aspect having to do with pre and post-game will be under a microscope for the next CBA. Sure, an owner now can fire a player; however, the club still has to assume the contractual liabilities, including salary cap implications and dead money, etc. Don’t think that will happen.

              3. 49reasons, +++49,

                Damn it, where’s a copy machine when you need one so I can hand it to those idiots during the Thurs. Nite game next time I see them.

                Well reasoned, 49.

              4. 49, a well thought out and insightful post. I agree with every word you say.
                I am reminded of that saying- Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. SJ.
                Edmund Burke once wrote- Do not allow evil to triumph. Do not sit by and do nothing. Stand up and be counted, speak up against evil, and speak out against evil men and their sinful deeds.

              5. Stolen Valor don’t diminish the remark by adding your thoughts.
                Tell another story about an uncle who you vicariously live through.

            3. All moot points as owners are now joining with the players. What’s an owner to do, fire himself? Jed said that’s impossible.

  13. Eric Reid pens powerful op-ed in New York Times on protest, racism and Colin Kaepernick
    After a Sunday full of protest, Eric Reid talked about his decision to kneel, Colin Kaepernick and social injustice in America.

    “I’m not going to spend too long telling you about the recent op-ed written by San Francisco 49ers strong safety Eric Reid and published in the New York Times. That would take away from Reid’s short, powerful message that should be read by every single person who thinks they have an opinion on the protest that Reid takes part in.”

    “His comments come in the wake of derogatory remarks from President Trump on Friday, when Trump took the opportunity to condemn NFL players for their protests — not long after referring to actual white supremacists as “very fine people.” Sunday saw dozens of NFL players take a knee or express other forms of support for the movement, while most NFL owners also weighed in with statements about unity.”

    by James Brady@JamesBradySBN Sep 25, 2017, 11:30am PDT

  14. Re Mark Nzeocha, the linebacker we just poached from the Dallas PS:

    BOTTOM LINE Nzeocha has a tremendous amount of athleticism and speed, but his instincts for the game must be developed and sharpened before he can be trusted as a full-time starter. His potential and ceiling are exciting (provided he recovers from injury), but he’s the textbook definition of project. Like the Eagles’ Bryan Braman, he has the length and speed to become a highly effective special-teams player.

  15. Jamie Erdahl‏Verified account

    Mike Tomlin just told me @NFLonCBS #Steelers will NOT be participating in the #NationalAnthem today in CHI. Staying in the locker room.

    Jennifer Lee Chan‏Verified account @jenniferleechan Sep 24
    Bravo to the @steelers ??????????

    The NFL has fined Pittsburgh Steelers players $1 million each for staying in their locker room during the national anthem.

  16. If President Trump thought he would influence NFL owners, coaches and players with his remarks Friday at an Alabama rally, he was mistaken, based on what followed in Week 3 of the NFL season.

    “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now. Out,” Trump said amid applause. “He’s fired. He’s fired!”
    And coach Bruce Arians said, “I thought the commissioner had a great statement, and I agree with it. I’ve been in locker rooms for 25 years, and some of the most reputable men I’ve ever met wear that uniform. To even overcome the things in their life to get to the NFL is amazing. What they’ve done in the last month for hurricane relief victims speaks volumes of what we’re all about in the NFL.”

  17. While Trump Yells at NFL Players, Rightbloggers Work the Refs

    “Last week, the president of the United States held a rally in Alabama…

    During what may have been some sort of medical episode, he lashed out in rage at Colin Kaepernick and other football players who had quietly protested police violence against black men by kneeling during the national anthem, saying that anyone who did so was “a son of a biotch” who should be fired.

    Later, noticing that this random snarl had won him some attention, the president fished around for another black athlete to insult and, finding one on Fox News, announced that because the star player of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, Stephen Curry, had expressed reluctance to accept an invitation from the Trump White House, he was withdrawing a hitherto unannounced invitation to the team.”

    The result of all this was to get players and coaches in numerous sports to tell the president, with varying degrees of indirection, to fock off; many NFL players and one of the two teams in the WNBA finals abstained from standing and/or appearing for the anthem on Sunday.

  18. You mean colleges best 3T interior pass rusher is struggling trying to be an edge rusher? Ya don’t say!

    Here’s a novel idea…move him exclusively to the premier pass rush position in our 4-3 to the 3T and let him Bryant Young one gap all over the backfield .

    And while you’re at it, move AA and Buckner back to their natural positions too at Big End (LDE). Oh and Lynch at LEO???? Hello!

    Hmmmm, I wonder why Tank Carradine was having such a nice season….oh that’s right, we finally moved him to his natural position that tailored to his skill set.

    Odd…but yeah Kyle/Saleh, keep moving Thomas across all positions and act like the Big End is the same as the NT is the same as the 3T is the same as the LEO. All 4 of those position require vastly different skill sets.

    1. Tbh I see no problem having Thomas play big end in base downs. He should be fine there. But I would like to see them slide him in on passing downs.

      As for Buckner, he’s having a great season playing the 3T. I wouldn’t move him.

      1. Thomas will play great at 6T “whipping TE’s” but when he has to face TE and a T, at 273 pounds, he’s going to get destroyed. It’s called “Big End” for a reason. Tank is incredibly strong and he’s played on the edge his entire career.

        Buckner will have success anywhere you put him save for LEO.


        AA – Buckner – Thomas – Lynch
        Dumervil in nickel at the edges
        Mitchell/Jones interior subs
        AA/Buckner can play anywhere in base

    2. Thomas will need to gain weight before he can become a full-time 3-technique. And he won’t play that position as long as DeForest Buckner is on the team.

          1. But great breakdown on his deficiencies as an edge rusher.

            We reviewed his tape prior to drafting him and even when he lined up as a DE, he’d either stunt or rush inside. We could not find one single snap of him as a true speed/bend edge rusher. Moving the best interior pass rusher in college to the LEO was a terrible idea and it’s showing.

            I recommend watching Bryant Young clips and then immediately watching Solomon Thomas clips.

            You’ll love it!

      1. I don’t think he should be the full time 3T. I think he should play 3T on obvious passing downs opposite Buckner. Don’t need a 1T in those situations.

    3. Bryant Young made an immediate impact.

      “..Drafted with the seventh overall selection in 1994 draft, Young was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1994 after leading all 49ers defensive linemen with 49 tackles and six sacks.”

      94′ Week 1: 1 sack.

      It’s too soon to call him a bust (nobody is doing that anyway). It’s way too soon to say he’s the next Bryant Young.

        1. I do catch your drift. He was drafted to set the edge in base downs and got beat out by Tank. He was also drafted to rush from the interior (3T) in sub packages. He hasn’t got all the reps there either.

          Bryant Young didn’t get beat out by anyone. You catch my drift?

      1. This goes with my point above. Special talent stands out. It’s not like someone in the locker room is going , “hey let’s try ST inside” and everyone claps their hands over their ears and yells “nah nah nah we’re not listening.” They’ve obviously had him there at some point and he didn’t do anything that suggested that that’s where he should be.

    1. “Would you move Bryant Young between Big End , 3T and LEO?”

      No. Young established himself as a legit 3T in camp and in preseason, Thomas has not done that.

      Would you start Thomas over Buckner at 3T in base?

      1. No, as stated above I’d move Buckner to NT or Big End (more ideal).

        Those saying Thomas would get run over by 330 G’s fail to recognize he’s going up against 330 T’s with more athletic ability. He’s no edge rusher on ANY level.

        Equally important, you’re ignoring the assignments in our 1 gap scheme and ST’s true skill set in general.

        To those who think Thomas couldn’t play a similar role to Young need to study up on Seiferts defense and watch some side-by-side tape.

        All that said, he’ll probably play more exclusively at 6T/BE and that is a good spot for him unless they double down on the stong side.

    2. Don’t know why you keep comparing him to B. Young. The two are night and day.

      The answer to 80s question is obvious. Solomon got swolled up even on the inside.

  19. I expect Thomas to be a solid run defender at DE, and an explosive interrior pass rusher inside. I’m not expecting him to be a great edge rusher. If he does develop into a top edge rusher, all the better. But I’m not expecting it.

    He’s strong, explosive, hard worker. He’ll get results. But the edge label was an unfortunate expectation.

    I’m more concerned with Armstead’s position change. He was an established inside rusher even though he played with one good arm at 293 lbs. Not so sure he’ll be an equally good outside rusher at 270.

        1. Unfortunately, Thomas is the redundant player. Couldn’t beat out Tank at Big End and can’t beat out Arik as the second 3T. Just a bad pick so far.

          1. They won’t be getting rid of Thomas after 3 games. Armstead is out of position. He is either a big end or 3T. But he’s playing Leo which is a waste. Better off having Lynch there, issues and all.

        1. I remember many wanting a safety instead of Thomas, including myself. We were just willing to give ST the benefit of the doubt because, after all, he was selected by a professional scouting team. But to your point, he has not been impressive and other than the lateral speed, I haven’t seen anything yet to give hope that he will be an elite talent.

            1. My bad then – I can’t always follow the indentation of comments especially as the response comment get further and further away from the initial comment. Nice win by the Titans yesterday.

              1. Can be really hard to tell which comments are responses to which. Was a good win for them to get, still not convinced that Seattle is any good this year though.

  20. “I’m more concerned with Armstead’s position change. He was an established inside rusher even though he played with one good arm at 293 lbs.”

    Agreed, that and Thomas’ lack of progress are the reasons that Arik is the one kicking inside instead of Solomon.

  21. I remember people saying we shouldn’t sign Garcon because he wasn’t a #1 WR.

    “This was the biggest question when the 49ers signed Garcon. Could he really be that lead guy who has to face the top cornerback on opposing teams each and every game? On Garcon’s current pace, he’s looking at over 80 receptions and 1,250 yards. Obviously, both of these numbers are in the No. 1 wideout category. The more comfortable he gets, the easier everyone else’s job on the offense will get as well.”

    1. I think it was a contextual statement. Would he be the best receiver on most NFL teams, or just ours? For his career he’s averaged 54.2 yards a game. For the first 9 seasons of his career he’s averaged 14.6 games a season which works out to an average of 791 yards a season. He’s averaged 4.2 receptions a game for an average of 62.7 a season.

      Are 790 yards and 63 receptions in the No.1 wideout category because that’s what you can actually expect from him.

  22. We are 3 games into a 16 game season with a lot of players with 3 or less seasons in yet another Defensive system. I expect it will take about 8 games to get a good read on how most of the players will fit into this system.
    I also think you can’t have too many good D line players. Having fresh D lineman in the 4th quarter can make the difference in many games. I want to see consistency in the pressure on the QB which hasn’t been the case yet.

  23. Dak, if only. Team takes a step backwards in talent but he still finds a way to win. The Difference between a Hoyer and a Prescott.

        1. Zeke is averaging 3.4 ypc, only has 112 yards on the season and just scored his first TD of the year tonight. So either Zeke has taken a step back or that offensive line has. Given the attrition that the o-line had in the off season I think I know which is my pick.

          1. Dak landed in a very good situation and so did Mahomes. Both will have succcesful careers. Sometimes it’s better to be fortunate then good. Although both have talent too which helps.

  24. I’m having fun picking on Thomas because I didn’t want anything to do with him at #3 and I don’t think he’ll ever live up to his draft spot but I do believe that he will be a good defensive lineman in the NFL and that he’s a guy who could still end up with 4-6 sacks a season on a consistent basis. Could he still surprise us all and break out into a stud pass rusher, absolutely. 3 games into season 1 is nothing. Stretched out over the course of a successful NFL career and nobody will ever mention his first 3 games if he becomes a great player. I hope for him and his fans and for the rest of us 49er fans that he does achieve that level. With that said, I wont be holding my breath.

  25. Thanks Baalke. First, he drafts an ACL player in the third round (Redmond), then Rashard Robinson in the 4th when Dak Prescott was taken 2 players later.

  26. Solomon Thomas will prove to be the right choice because he will help stop the run.
    With Tank throwing a track, I expect Thomas to get a lot more playing time. With his history of starting slow and finishing strong, Thomas will do better in the second half of the season, with many winnable games.’
    Cards O line had trouble blocking, so I hope all the Niner D linemen can get pressure on Palmer, who is another immobile QB.

  27. Where is the all knowledgeable Razor?He is always running his mouth and brown nosing Grant then his prince turns out to be a frog..I mean everyone is wrong once in a while but when you sit up on your high horse like you know better than everyone else and your wrong EVERYTIME…you should just quit posting

  28. I’m going to go into liberal mode..I’m going to think and act like a liberal all week..What do you have against trolls seb?That’s racist..I don’t live underneath a bridge I am not short with crazy hair..How dare you affend me like that!Do you have something against trolls?Have you ever been assaulted by a troll?How dare you lump us all together like this,we have rights too…I’m not going to work and I’m not going to live by societies rules because trolls are not treated fairly!

    See how sick the liberal mind is?

  29. I am filing a lawsuit against the press Democrat and I want all those little trolls in liquor stores and on key chains removed right now!You have hurt my feelings..How dare you judge all trolls like that

  30. Mark Nzeocha was poached off the Cowboy PS, but I wish they has poached Kadeem Edwards G, instead.
    Looks like they cut Nate Theaker G, so maybe the Niners should kick the tires on him.

  31. Interesting to see how all the former Niners are doing. Brooks had a sack. Dial got a tackle, although he is the second string. Kerley caught 5 passes last game. Ellington scored a TD last game with 4 catches. Poor Vance dropped a ball, and has not been used much.
    Looks like the Niners had talent, but the coaches were not good enough to coach them up. Wonder if Lynch and KS are having regrets after cutting them, and seeing them do so well so far.

    1. Vance hustled the length of the field and stripped a Bears player who was about cross the goal line after returning a blocked FGA. That the same Bears player stupidly and inexplicably came to a near stop yards 10 yards out gave Vance an assist.

  32. De Marcus Lawrence..Man The Cowboys are good … poor draft after poor draft

    the 49ers players have no passion..Just collecting a check..Baalke and the York’s have turned the 49ers into a parking lot.. Everyone makes fun of our team,our fans and our stadium..Jerry Jones is a great owner..We have the balding moron Jed York,chiming in on player protests yet his legacy is taking one of the greatest franchise’s in the history of sports and running it straight into the ground..we are the laughing stock of the NFL.. Cowboys second round pick is the sack leader of the NFL year all our first and second round picks wouldn’t even make the Cowboys roster…Brick by brick right?And don’t disagree with me or your racist and homophobic..this is America 2017..Don’t you dare hurt my feelings..And the US army should make dresses and mobile transgender bathrooms for the front line troops that way all the tranny’s with m14s can have a safe place when were engaged with the enemy..We are all equal..we should definitely tone down the Navy Seal standards so that tranny’s and gays can make it through it’s not fair!I’m a lineman for pg&e..Guys used to cuss at us throw tools at us make us climb poles in pouring rain and they make you wear a belt where you literally can’t fall off a pole hire lesbians and don’t let is work in bad weather even though liman have been doing it for 100 years…so basically if your power is out it’s raining and a bunch of lesbian lineman show up to fix it..good luck your lights ain’t coming on for three days..when it used to come on in three hours..but it’s all about understanding and equality..The Marxist way

  33. Or let’s see there’s a wire down and theres a bunch of guys who could easily ahve put it up in 20 min..But unfortunately for you they didn’t get hired cause they are “white devil’s” instead a black guy who just shows up and does the bare minimum..a lesbian and a Muslim show up and stay in their truck cause it’s raining and dangerous now your lights come on in 2 asked for it you got pc America..Best man for the job?No it’s just fill a quota and fuck the customers..Let’s all be politacly correct..

  34. Everyday I walk into work and there is a plaque that says “for our lost brothers” it has the name of the men who have died restoring your power at pg&e since only 2000 There is over 26 names on that plaque…Yet Colon Kapernick will tell you how bad America is..He couldn’t put on my work boots one day..Rest in peace to all the lineman that have died so little turds like Seb could walk into his bedroom and turn on his lights in a storm and get on the internet and tell everyone how opressed he is..Meanwhile were hiking down canyons staring death in the face to turn your lights on so you can get on the internet and tell everyone how tough your life is

  35. God forbid an American working man wakes up every day at 5 gets home after working 14-16 hours to watch some football and a guy like E Reid who gets paid 10 million dollars a year can’t make a damn tackle and complains about how rough it is for him..Forgive me if I don’t feel his “struggle”

  36. I have a question for you guys…
    Do you think Buckner is as good as pro football focus grades him? Recently they graded Buckner as their highest graded interior pass rusher. I certainly watch every niners game start to finish and I just don’t see it. The niners get almost zero pressure so then how is Buckner getting a lol of this pressure on the qb. Personally I think because pro football focus rated him as their best player in that draft class they tend to overrate him. Don’t get me wrong he is a good player, but the only interior d lineman getting pressure in that game was 99 on the rams and he was the best player in the game

    1. Was Arik A. as good as they rated him last year given our defensive production or lack thereof? I’d have to say no! Buckner is still very good and has played very well but I question the rankings. The same with AA.

  37. I’m just a layman on legal matters, but I don’t believe one has to leave their Amendment Rights at home when they go to work in the morning.

    1. Brotha, neither am I. But from what I understand a company has the perfect legal option to terminate an employee who does or says something on company time they feel reflects poorly on the company. Now when a government official steps in and pressures that company to do that very same (see Sarah Sanders Huckabee, DJT), we are in serious First Amendment violation territory. IMHO.

    2. BT: I would suspect it has to do with “at will” employment contracts which are, I believe, prevalent in most if not all states. However, as far as I understand, you cannot fire individuals based on certain “items” (not the correct word, but I can’t think of a better one at the moment) protected by federal law (race, sexual orientation, etc.). Right to protest is presumably not on that list. Perhaps JPN will chime in.

  38. This upcoming game would be an excellent opportunity for ST (and the entire defensive front) to counter all this talk. I mean if the Cowpokes could blow up the Card’s OL all night long with just a 3 man rush……. Grant, this is also an excellent opportunity for your esteemed coach Arians to make the scheme changes to address that embarrassment.

  39. Give the man an opportunity to get his sea legs. They are working Thomas at various positions so he has to go through numerous periods of learning- trial and error stuff. Thomas seems smart and a good student with a positive attitude they will work it out. At some point in the future, we might see Thomas playing emergency LB in place of Harold that isn’t a leap too far. Skies the limit.

  40. Being a new roster and new coaches with new schemes, it will take a while to get the team sorted out and performing smoothly. It was tough to face 2 really good defenses to begin the year, and it sure did not help to have the refs throw the game to the Rams.
    Some may declare that the protesting will cause fans to abandon the game, but corrupt officiating may do the same. In this game, the refs can determine the outcome of the game easily by throwing flags( OPI) and not throwing flags. Corrupt refs need to be graded and singled out for removal. I am glad they are making some officials full time employees, but they should make all Refs full time, with protocols for removing bad refs that make bad calls. Refs will flag players that retaliate, but I would like to see them also flag the instigator. There should be a ref in the booth that can have the power to tell the lead ref to either throw a flag or pick up a flag, which will make the officiating more fair and impartial. With today’s technology, an official in the booth could see the whole field and every player interaction. Maybe have a rep from both teams in the booth to help point out egregious fouls and get the booth official to focus on important factors pertaining to the play. Maybe he could stop the refs on the field from throwing ticky tacky flags away from the action. Getting the call right should be their paramount goal, and I am sick and tired of bad refs that take away the glory from players and leave a bad taste in my mouth.
    The specter of CTE is another huge factor, and the gladiatorial aspect of attrition will turn off more fans. Football needs to be smarter about protecting the players, because the human cost makes all pros into pitiful painful shells of their former self. Glad they have improved the helmet technology, but wish they could have given every player a brain scan before the season, so they have a base line to compare changes when concussions do occur.
    Glad the league has stopped denying reality, and actively thwarting research. With a few tweaks, they can make this game safer for the players. Reducing head slaps and head butting will help, Slapping the shoulder pads should be able to convey the same message. Concussions are cumulative, so avoiding all blows to the head is just common sense.

  41. Must be a slow day at the PD if all you have on the table is a hit on a rookie with only 3 games under his belt.
    Btw, how many total sacks does the front 4 have as a whole?
    I would strongly venture that if sacks are the measure you are using to determine if a player is out of position or simply not getting the job done, then the entire front 4 is not playing their appropriate position and not using proper technique.
    But hey, pointing out a rookies faults is always a sure-fire guarantee to garner clicks.

    1. Coach/GM Cohn wants to assure all that he is evaluating every aspect of the current staff’s obligations with respect to running the team. You know the old saying: “If you can’t do it, teach it”. Grant is determined to teach whoever is listening… and if it generates clicks at the same time, well- all the better.

    1. If they beat the Steeler’s on the 15th then I would agree they have a really good chance of making it to the SuperBowl. I see them facing the Packers and the game ending like SuperBowl I did.

  42. An article favoring more rotational action for Browns, 3rd round pick, Xavier Cooper has been written.

    3rd downs: On nickel packages, the Niners can rotate right defensive end Arik Armstead over to Carradine’s spot, as pointed out by Niner Noise’s Chris Wilson prior to this season.

    Here’s how Wilson broke down the would-be alignment (left to Rt.):

    Armstead, Buckner, Bowman, Thomas, Lynch.

    “Thomas winds up as the right defensive tackle, with EDGE Aaron Lynch at the LEO spot. This formation would work, essentially keeping Lynch’s pass-rushing abilities on the field while ensuring both Armstead, Buckner and Thomas are capable of offering an interior pass rush.

    In addition to having Armstead switch, Carradine’s loss might also thrust backup defensive tackle Xavier Cooper into a more-active role.”

    “San Francisco’s depth here is going to be tested for the next few weeks until Carradine can return healthy.

    The 49ers have been easing their first-overall pick from this year’s NFL Draft, Solomon Thomas, into the equation early this season.
    On the positive side, the opportunity now belongs to Thomas to showcase what his abilities might be over the course of his rookie season.”

  43. RynheartTheReluctant‏

    Replying to @realDonaldTrump
    Trump’s Evangelical Adviser on Fox News: NFL Players Lucky ‘They Are Not Shot in the Head’

    Ann Killion‏Verified account @annkillion 2h2 hours ago
    More Ann Killion Retweeted RynheartTheReluctant
    Can’t make this stuff up.

  44. Donald J. Trump‏Verified account
    The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations. The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can’t kneel during our National Anthem!

    Damon Bruce‏Verified account @DamonBruce 2h2 hours ago
    More Damon Bruce Retweeted Donald J. Trump
    Dictators love rules instead of thought.

  45. I am not going to say Thomas will be as good as Justin Smith. I just want to point out that Smith is 1 inch taller and 12 pounds heavier than Thomas.
    In Smith’s first 4 games he had 1 sack. In his 1st 9 games in had 2 sacks. Smith averaged 6.22 sacks per season. I doubt there are many 49er fans who would not welcome a 22 year old Justin Smith to the team.
    The point is; lets see how Thomas looks in a couple of months, at the end of the season and then the end of 2018 before we decide he can play or not.
    One final point; Tomsula sure does look like he is a very good D Line coach; wonder how the line would be doing if he was still with the Niners?

    1. He has a long way to go before he’s on Justin Smith’s level 49er42. To me, this crowning of Thomas is way premature and leads to the intense criticism of the young man.

      If he were left to play, he may develop into a decent player, but hype and high expectations will only put him under the microscope.

      I think Coffee is right, had he gone in the 20s no one would say anything, but he was taken 3rd overall so he will get some critical examination.

      So far he has not flashed what all his defenders have said (he can play any position on the line – instant impact – revolutionize the defense – etc. ) He has been what I expected, a rookie who has struggled. Not a surprise as many do, even good ones.

      Now excuses are made – out of position – wasn’t there for full offseason- etc. The thing is the good ones get through without. Bosa did and so did Foster.

      1. It wouldn’t matter if he was taken in the 20s, people would still be complaining because he isn’t lighting it up. People complained about Ward and he was pick 30.

        Regarding Thomas, he’s been ok. Certainly nothing spectacular so far. But at least he is playing a fair bit. His 127 snaps on D are the 4th most on the DL (Buckner and Armstead are way out in front on 179 and 172, then Mitchell with 137). He’s been playing more snaps than Tank, who has the 5th most on the DL with 80. Given some of the first round busts this team has seen, having him on the field and contributing is in itself something of a positive. With Tank now out I expect we will see a lot more of him too.

        But being good enough to be on the field isn’t considered enough to warrant a high pick these days. They need to be high impact players off the bat, or got labelled a bust (or at least not worth the high pick) pretty quick by the fans. I don’t think it is fair or warranted, but it is what it is. Personally I will wait and see how he progresses over the year and into next year. Being good enough to play a lot of snaps early in your career, is usually a promising sign.

        1. Good point about Ward criticism and I always felt it was unwarranted. I do think Thomas was taken too high and may not have great impact in the NFL because of the type of player he is, though I hope I’m wrong.

          I do think that under Fangio, Thomas would not have played much. He hasn’t been a beneficial contributor and he is taking snaps from those that may. That does matter to a team that has trouble generating a pass rush.

          If he were to play inside he would take snaps from Buckner and Armstead. Who would you bump? I wouldn’t bump either. And for my money I would have kept others but it’s water under the bridge.

          I’d like to see what Lynch and Shanahan do, though the early moves do not inspire great confidence.

          1. I think Thomas should get more snaps at DT. He has gotten some snaps there, but from what I recall seeing he has mostly played the edge. Armstead has played some DT on passing downs, as has Mitchell. Neither guy has been overly productive – Armstead’s best pass rushes have actually been while playing DE and doing stunts where he has looped in behind the DT. I would have Thomas take Armstead’s snaps at DT.

            1. Part of the issue, Scooter, is that we have another first-round pick, Reuben Foster, who has shown explosive abilities even if he still needs work in various areas. I think many of us, even if it is just subconsciously, are comparing the performance of the two.

  46. @Ann Killion:

    Pence absurdly says players should give up free speech because “National” is in name of NFL
    By Oliver Willis |
    SEPTEMBER 26, 2017

    Mike Pence says NFL players should no longer have the freedom to publicly voice their opposition to racism.
    Why? According to Pence, the use of “national” in the name of the National Football League means players must stand during the national anthem.
    Pence made his bizarre comment at a campaign rally for Sen. Luther Strange, who faces off against disgraced former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore in Tuesday’s primary.

    1. Fellow basketballer Lebron James hit back on Twitter, calling the President a “bum” and pointing out that he couldn’t disinvite Steph Curry, because he’d already said he wasn’t going, and adding pointedly, “Going to the White House was a great honour until you showed up!”

      so what is Mr Trump’s end game?

      Remember — 83 per cent of NFL fans are white. The President is calling for those mostly white fans to stop watching the NFL until all-white team owners bring their mostly black players into line, or fire them.

      Unfortunately for Mr Trump, some of those team owners, including friends and supporters, think this time he’s gone too far.

      Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots defended the right of his players to “affect social change” and “raise awareness” and expressed “deep disappointment” in Mr Trump.

      New England Patriots ✔@Patriots
      Statement from #Patriots Chairman & CEO Robert Kraft:

      The owners of the Cleveland Browns said the President’s comments were “misguided, uninformed and divisive”.

      Ratings for the NFL have fallen by double digits since 2016, and the most common reason given by fans for switching off was the national anthem protests over the way America treats minorities.

      Yes, Mr President, this really is about race.

  47. Donald Trump calls for NFL to create rule mandating players stand for national anthem

  48. The problem is that I don’t think Thomas was ever meant to be an “edge” rusher. He’s a power end…who can match power with some power and quickness. That was the problem with Thomas to begin with he’s a “tweaner” End/DT. He’s an undersized defensive tackle with mobility playing End.

    The change in the line up now that Tank Carradine is out is that Thomas will have to stuff the run in base downs. I think he was already eating into Carradine’s snaps in passing situations (I’m not sure of that though…)

  49. Every rookie would benefit from siting an entire season, study hard and work out to build muscle. Thomas could add 12 – 15 lbs, so he could take on those tackles.
    Other players like WRs, get thrown to the wolves and tend to become injured, so Thomas may now be featured since Tank is on IR.
    I hope he gets a sack next game.

      1. He was right about us already having Buckner and Armstead as interior rushers.

        I think it’s fair to judge a #3 pick every week. He will get plenty of action going forward. I hope he settles in and gains chemistry with Mitchell.

        1. Obviously he is not because there all playing different positions. Kyle said he believes Thomas can play anywhere on the D line. I’m looking forward to watch Thomas progress as the season goes.

          1. Buckner and Armstead are both playing 3T on passing downs. Which is where Thomas was projected to play. We didn’t need another 3T.

  50. Think most are jumping the gun so to speak. Anyone’s thoughts on judging this draft in week 3 of this season . Are bias . Not enough time , anybody that’s worth there weight , knows this .

    Thomas will be fine , as a defensive minded person .( ie where I played ) IMO I think I’ve figured out what Saleh is up to . We as a group have seen him move guys around on our defensive line . Right. Looks like to me he’s setting up for what is called a double stunt . That involves , the 3tec .5tec ,and the strong end ( big end) ,all with a loop stunt and a gap split . Now a couple of you who I have spoken with already might know what I’m speaking of . I will try to explain . Note this only works on passing downs . This is to confuse the offensive line on who there blocking assignment is .

    Alright 3t stunts to left tackle outside shoulder ( outside loop) 5t stunts to what would of been the 3t gap ( ie splitting guard and center also gaining the angle advantage ) by doing this that allows your big end ,one on one with just the guard ,who is usually out matched ( ie speed ,and angle) giving away the inside shoulder . Note, with no help .

    Know there have only been a couple of defensive lines capable of this stunt . ( Rams , Olson an Deacon ) ( can I get a head slap ,they were legal than )and one more ,from MV.(purple people eaters) they had the size ,speed, and lateral quickness necessary to get it done. Note the leo ,is matched up one on one .

    Looks like he’s training 2 of them for it . ( Can you guess which 2) The line is definitely fluid enough to do this . Hence why I think he’s playing them 2 in what would be there assignments in this stunt.(What some say is setting the edge,we called it containment) .

    Note ,if they keep a back in ,you send the lb , right up that gap. Still leaving the big end ,and lb if that happens ,one on one. Examples of this can be seen in the first game, and Thursdays game. This play works well when one side of the offensive line is weak . Justin smith , and Aldon did half of it ,on the right side ,they had pretty good success with it , but we have Buckner . So we have 3 with enough lateral speed, and strength , to pull it off.

    Let me know what you guys think, would love to hear it .
    I think he’s training them for it . As a defensive mind ( Mike) and having it done ,and practiced in front of me . Just my opinion. Thanks for listening to me ramble on .

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