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.