49ers relegate Solomon Thomas to defending run

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Solomon Thomas (94) during an NFL preseason football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)

SANTA CLARA — When the 49ers drafted Solomon Thomas with the third pick in 2017, they thought they’d get a Pro Bowl defensive lineman, an elite interior pass rusher. Not a mere part-time player.

Now, they see Thomas for what he is: A mere part-time player.

He was a designated run-defender last Sunday. He played defensive end when the coaches expected the Minnesota Vikings to run, and didn’t play when the coaches expected the Vikings to pass.

“He’s a really good run defender,” defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said about Thomas on Thursday. “And he’s actually quick. He can disengage quick and get to the ball carrier quick. He doesn’t give up a lot of ground on double teams, so he’s a very good run defender in that regard. Obviously, we fully trust him to defend the run.”

And obviously, they don’t fully trust him to rush the quarterback. That’s why last Sunday he played only 35 of the 71 defensive snaps — less than half the game. Thomas hasn’t yet earned the right to rush on third down.

“If we’re talking about third-down pass rush and all of that stuff, he’s got to be one of the best ones on a consistent basis,” Saleh said. “And he’s gotten a lot better. He really has.”

But he hasn’t gotten good enough.

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This article has 118 Comments

  1. If Armstead is healthy, he looks much more explosive and disruptive than Thomas. Thomas has his moments, but nothing about his play tells me he will be a Pro Bowl caliber player in the years to come. I hope he proves me wrong.

    1. Exactly 49, exactly…

      His stock rose during draft process and everyone went on about his motor. JL is a Stanford guy…just saying. Anyway, he was always undersized and not good enough to be a pass rusher from edge like a Dwight Freeney… who is the same size but turned the edge. Not really fair comparison I think he ran a 4.5 out of college. The point is Thomas needs an edge game or another team in 2 years.

      He should look at tapes of cowboy and try to model him. Take roids or something… do something… #3 pick, dang it.

      Maybe we need more patience, but by next year I think we need to stop relying on him to become something he is not, which is a stud DL.

      Go Niners!!!

        1. Jamal Adams would have been the better choice. The Niners had absolutely no leadership on defense, which Adams would have instantly provided (that, and perhaps the best safety play in the conference over the next decade). Niners need some better player evaluation and decision-making in the FO, or they’re going to be doomed to middling starting talent over the next several years.

          1. Considering the Niners only lost Joe Williams out of the last 2 drafts, I think the scouting and player assessments have been intelligent and shrewd.
            .
            They found Colbert and Taylor in the 7th. Kittle in the 5th.
            .
            They also could have had Alvin Kamara ,the player NO moved up to get.
            .
            Jamal Adams, in hindsight, may have been a good choice, but the major need in the draft was finding a player who could help stop the run. Thomas fit the bill.

            1. Fournette, Adams, Lattimore and Deshawn. All taken after and even Trubisky. Then you can afford a Khali Mack.
              Thomas was the worst pick of this regime, and that first pick in many ways was the most important.
              Every weakness they have points back to it.

          2. Balthazar, funny you bring up Jamal Adams. I had this exact debate with Razoreater and couple other posters prior to last year’s draft. I even went as far as to change my avatar to J. Adams wearing his LSU purple & gold (and how good he would look wearing scarlet & gold). I was vehemently opposed to taking Thomas, and was lobbying hard for adams. I was arguing that Thomas was undersized for an interior defensive lineman, and that all of his best work came on the interior of the Cardinals line. It didn’t take a genius to understand that undersized interior defensive lineman tend to struggle at the NFL level, nor was it rocket science to understand that Thomas wasn’t nearly as impressive while rushing off of the edge in college.

            Then again Balthazar, this years debate with razor was pertaining to Saquon Barkley, and whether he was the best NFL RB prospect in the draft. For the record, Razor didn’t think he was, lol.

              1. Yes Jack, the Giants are almost certainly going to need Barkley to live up to the lofty expectations, if they want to compete over the next few years. In fact, in some ways he’s a very similar skillset as jerick, except bigger, like 25 lbs bigger. Barkley is a beast, but I was really looking forward to watching Kyle utilize Jerick this season. So disappointing. It seems clear that you weren’t on the same level of excitement and intrigue as I was. Of course I was dreaming of Barkley slipping down the draft board, falling right to the Niners.

                Let’s not forget what the expectations were for McKinnon coming in. McKinnon was one of the hottest fantasy RB in the league. Certainly top 15 RB, or R2 for a lot of fantasy owners.

                The folks over at Pro Football Focus included San Francisco 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon as one of their fantasy football players to watch in the NFC West for 2018.

                McKinnon enters training camp and the preseason pre-draft period as one of the most intriguing fantasy assets. On one hand, his skill set appears to be a perfect fit for Kyle Shanahan’s scheme. McKinnon has been incredibly efficient on a per-target basis in the passing game and his skill set as a runner is underdeveloped but a good fit on paper for Shanahan’s outside zone-blocking run scheme. …

                Earlier this offseason, veteran 49ers beat reporter Matt Maiocco tabbed McKinnon as a candidate for 1,500 total yards claiming Shanahan views him as his next Devonta Freeman. Speaking of that comparison to Freeman, it’s important to note 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan inherited the Atlanta Falcons tailback a year after he had just 473 yards from scrimmage in 2014.

                Freeman had 1,634 and 1,541 all-purpose yards in 2015 and 2016, respectively — Shanahan’s two years there as the Falcons offensive coordinator.

                By the way, Kyle had identified McKinnon as “the guy” the day he signed on as 49ers HC.

                So, not only have the 49ers lost the player Kyle chose to be his featured tailback, a guy who’s skillset Kyle has designed a great deal of this years playbook around, they are also heading into week 2 with two rookie on the right side of the OL, and oh, by the way, one of those is an undrafted free agent.

                And, do we even know if our best WR, and Jimmy’s favorite target last season, will be healthy on Sunday? How about our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd string ILB’s?

                I keep telling people, McKinnon wasn’t just “a guy.” And now Jimmy is protected by 2 rookies on the right side of the OL, next to a center who is playing only the 2nd game of his life making line calls in Kyle’s system? Wow, just WOW!

              2. And I’ll make one more point about injuries ….

                Do you think Sean McVay understands the importance of a healthy roster. I’ve never seen anything like it. McVay practically sat his starters FOR THE ENTIRE PRESEASON this year! He knew he was risking going into game 1 of the season looking rusty and disjointed. And there was a real possibility of losing game 1 had they played a decent team.

                The Raiders absolutely stink on defense, so it seems that he made the right call, but do you think the Rams could have slept walked through the first half in Minnesota to open the season?

                I don’t. And I doubt McVay does either.

    2. He’s about the same size as Michael Bennett. He also had a slow start to his career. I’m not worried about Thomas. Give him time. He’ll get his chances this season. It’s good to have quality depth at d-line.

  2. Hmm…..this theory holds good if Thomas plays half the snaps in the second game as well. Saleh did say he was rotating players.

    The other theory is that they are probably showcasing Arik Armstead for a possible trade?

  3. No worries. Football is a game of attrition, and D line depth is crucial for success.
    .
    Glad they have the ability to rotate players so they can keep them fresh. Hope they decrease the snaps for Buckner, so they do not wear him down over the season.
    .
    Saleh just needs to put players in the right positions, to accentuate their strengths.
    .
    Thomas will not get any sacks if they refuse to allow him to rush the passer.

  4. And if Thomas plays more snaps against the Lions? What you are suggesting may be true if the same thing occurs through the rest of the month. But until that comes to fruition, this article reeks of nothing but supposition and trying to meet a deadline for an article.

  5. Thomas not getting snaps at 3T in nickel over AA just shows they fluffed that pick. Either they didn’t correctly evaluate the players they already had before last years draft, or they got the evaluation of Thomas wrong (or a bit of both).

    1. Looks that way but we’ll see. I thought the plan coming into this season would be to have Buckner and Thomas inside on 3rd down and Armstead and Marsh outside. Thomas is not a great pass rusher, but he is best rushing from the 3 by far. If they were hoping he could become an edge in the NFL they badly miscalculated.

  6. “And obviously, they don’t fully trust him to rush the quarterback.”

    ^This is true. I don’t ever see him being an effective edge rusher. He might have some success rushing from the 3T position, but don’t expect it week to week because he’ll struggle when matched up against larger lineman. He’s not worthy of a #3 pick even if he hits his ceiling.

  7. Saleh is aiming to restrict the number of snaps per lineman per game to about 50 so that they stay fresh through the game, and throughout the season. Buckner got 54 but AA got 59 while Solly got 35. He made a point about AA’s size in the interior — maybe they saw something on film about Cousin’s play with interior pressure from tall linemen. I won’t be surprised if Solly and AA get to a more 50-50 split this Sunday. I know that this explanation lacks the spice of a hot take about Thomas being banished to the run-blocking doghouse…..

  8. A few things of note.
    – He was never drafted to rush off the edge. The niners said as much when they drafted him.
    – He was the lowest graded Dlineman by PFF in the vikings game even at his supposed strength. (Yes I know some don’t like PFF, but their grades are better in some areas than others.)
    – While some speculate he will get more playing time next week, based on how he did last game against that patchwork Oline and his bone headed penalty. I’m not sure he has earned more playing time.
    – I think he will eventually be a solid player but don’t see him being much more than that, similar to Ronald Blair. I would have likde the pick if he were drafted in the mid rounds.

  9. As the third pick in the draft he was definitely a whiff. Enough with this patience BS. You need top ten draft picks to produce within a short period of time not just right before their rookie contracts are up. Other wise they are in the same category as a free agent. Does it make sense to have patience with someone who is signed as a free agent?.

    If you want competitive continuity for a team maintaining a large portion of players on their rookie contracts is important. It is really advantageous if they are skill players who would otherwise ordinarily command the highest salaries on the team. That is why it should be expected for a player drafted in the top part of the first round to produce early on.

    In Thomas’s case the concept of patience should not be a factor. What good would it do it the player starts producing just in time to increase his value for his next contract? You might as well just sign a free agent who is already producing at a high level. Besides it appears that Thomas has probably hit his ceiling.

    Fortunately the Niners did well enough in the rest of the draft to compensate for Thomas.

  10. I watched the Lions v. Jets game. Stafford looked terrific except for the 4! interceptions which he inexplicably threw right to the defenders. Nay, he didn’t look flustered — otherwise, everything about him said competence. Hope he doesn’t feast on Elijah Lee and Jimmie Ward. I’m assuming the interceptions are not his m.o. and he is trouble. I don’t know much about him. He threw pinpoint passes. Then again Coyle’s a pass-covering liability, so Lee can’t be worse.

    1. lee, after the game Jets players said they knew exactly what plays the Lions were going to run before they ran them. How? Film study and prep. That might explain part of Stafford’s problems. The guy has consistently thrown for 4.5K a season and better than 2-1 TD/int ratio, I’m betting last week was an aberration. Lets see if the Niner’s can similarly fluster him.

        1. Did they get valuable information from a player they picked up and pumped him for tendencies, alignments, play calls, locker room banter, and the valuable information on what kind of insoles they use plus thread type?

        2. I agree. Maybe even Jim Caldwell. Revenge is a powerful emotion. Sounds like JC was fired, maybe unfairly, and he may have blamed Jim Bob Cooter for stabbing him in the back. JC did not have to divulge every detail, but just needed to tell them where to look.
          .
          JBC retained his job, but kept the old hand signals from last season. Any team worth its salt would be studying film, trying to read trends, focusing on tendencies and stealing signs.
          .
          I gotta laugh. Some are claiming it was not from intel, but that is the very definition of intel.

    2. If the Niners have basically documented the entire Lions playbook, and know exactly every single play the Lions offense will run before the ball is snapped, as the Jets boasted they did, then we’ll have a decent chance to win that game.

        1. I am a doubter Razor and I hope the kid turns it around.

          It feels like our defense is in purgatory and waiting for something to happen. Maybe Saleh is not using him properly but now he comes out on passing downs which is not good for him but maybe good for Double A.

          1. I’m fine with him earning his pass rushing snaps, and making the most of his opportunities moving forward. If Armstead can stay healthy, maybe this is the year he becomes the player we all hoped for….

            1. Considering all the high draft picks this dline should be dominating. I’m not sure it’s the coaching or just guys needing to come into their own.

              1. “this dline should be dominating”

                Top 10 in yards per carry allowed, sacks and allowing only 17 points on the road isn’t anything to sneeze at.

              2. Prime, I’m of the mind that a defensive line needs to gel and learn to work together as a unit. Especially when it’s built predominantly with young players. It’s very similar to an offensive line….

        2. Razor,
          I hope that Solly can have a breakout year, and I felt that he would dating back to TC.

          But is moving him from one position to another an indication of his ability to play a different position or the Org still trying to figure out what is his true position (rhetorical question).

          I loved Solly’ intensity and motor in college, but he’s playing against the best Olinemen in the world each week which may be wearing him down.

          He is your traditional ‘tweener ” and only a handful of them have great success.

    1. Doubting Thomas’s are better than Debbie Downers.
      .
      Razor, I agree. Solomon Thomas is not a bust at all, and expecting him to immediately play like an All Pro is an unreasonable expectation. Posters are giving up on him way too early, but now, we have them on record if Thomas starts to shine.
      .
      Niners have him under a rookie contract, so they will not throw away their investment.
      .
      Maybe the coaches need to stop playing him in the wrong position. They should put him in his best position to succeed. They should disguise his weaknesses. Glad they are keeping his snap counts down, so he will be healthy for the stretch run. Sure, his sack totals will suffer, if they only play him during expected running situations, but I was very encouraged with the overall run defense so far.

  11. A lot of us argued that he was a superfluous pick back then and as a tweeter was unlikely to dominate in the pass rush. I hope he can improve his game but wonder why his role will be.

  12. Solo Thomas is what he is. A run stopper. He will never be a 8-10 sack guy. He was over drafted and it’s like a kick in the pills thinking we took him so early. Let’s call it what it is, a mistake.

  13. There were 3 defensive players picked in the top 10 of the 2017 draft.
    1. DE Myles Garrett
    3. DE Solomon Thomas
    6. S Jamal Adams

    It was pretty obvious the 49ers were going defense with the first pick and they desperately needed pass rush. Thomas was probably best available at the need position but it sure feels like a huge reach at this point in Thomas’s career. There are guys who are great character, great team, and great work ethic guys who just don’t have the physical tools to be great NFL players. I hope Thomas figures it out and improves but he’s definitely not standing out as you would hope you would get from #3 pick. We needed a Joey Bosa type player and we got a step down from a 33 year old Elvis Dumervil.

  14. If they can keep getting the results out of the DL using the rotation that’s a really good thing. Fresh D lineman go a long way towards helping shut teams down in the 2nd half.

    1. Yeppers, that’s very true. When I heard last year that the Titans didn’t do that, and expected their starting defensive lineman to play every snap; I was quite surprised….

  15. I think some of you forgot how bad the rush defense was two years ago. It was historically bad. Maybe Thomas was over drafted but they drafted for need instead of best player available. Since he has been drafted the rush defense has been better so….

    1. A good portion of that was due to injuries. This DL is healthier and it makes a difference. ST is a good run stopper on a team that needs d pass rushers.

      1. At the time of the draft the Niners needed to stop the run, and they did improve. Last year the Niners defense was killed defensively with injuries and yet the rush defense still improved. Now teams cant run so they pass which exploits another weakness – pass rush. Its a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Bad rosters do that to you sometimes.

            1. As I recall, and my memory may be faulty, once Bowman went down, the run Defense was pathetic.

              In either case, the notion that it was a greater need than rushing I believe is incorrect. You can get good run stoppers later in the draft.

              1. They needed to improve the defense and they picked up a guy who does a very good job in the role they have for him and is continuing to develop.

                Was he worth the #3 pick? Probably not, but that really only matters on draft day.

              2. They also needed a ball hawking safety. Adams was there. Yes hindsight is so easy but knowing they had 2 previous 1st rounders at DL and who could play the run, Thomas was a bad pick all things considered

        1. True story UC, but you don’t draft run stoppers in the top 5. That is a place where you need a blue chip impact player. It was an even stranger pick considering his strengths were along the same lines as the previous two first round picks, but what are you going to do? What’s done is done and Thomas at least should be a solid rotational guy.

          1. I did state maybe over drafted in my original statement. Rocket I am not defending the draft pick just stating they did what they needed to do. If you can not stop the run then you don’t need a pass rusher.

        2. The thing you’re not mentioning is the run defense was terrible in part due to the offensive scheme and the defensive scheme under Chip Kelly. Going into the 2017 draft, the 49ers already had 2 1st round picks that were supposed to be run stuffers. IMO, guys like Shanahan and Lynch recognized that the run defense might not be all that bad – the issues may have been related to scheme. I don’t necessarily think they drafted Solomon Thomas solely to defend the run. I think especially after that bowl game where he sacked Trubisky twice and was probably the biggest factor in that win for Stanford, the 49ers viewed Thomas as a pass rusher. You won’t convince me the 49ers drafted Solomon Thomas because he’s good against the run. They thought he was good at run and pass defense but it hasn’t worked out that way.

    2. Undercenter

      He got drafted for Alma Mater bias…a mistake…? sure, but it doesn’t mean that another team with another system can’t make it work…Kyle Shannahan has a unique system, and it does not include Solomon Thomas…Find a trading partner…

  16. From one of his draft profiles: “You can plug him and play him right away, but his best football will come in Year 3. Mark my words: Some [ill-informed] writer will say that he’s a bust [based on how high he’s drafted] after his first year or two, but I guarantee he’ll develop down the road. It took Michael Bennett until Year 4 to really get it, and look at him now.” — NFC defensive line coach

    Player comp: Michael Bennett”

    Ring any bells? Who knows how he will turn out in the end… I agree that it’s probably still too early to say. I remember seeing the Michael Bennett comparison more than a few times leading up to the draft. Either way, I just found this too fitting / too funny not to post.

    1. MT9,
      I’m sure that this writer meant well. But I have come to take a “guarantee” with a grain of salt.

      Who was the TV football analyst that said Kaepernick would be one the greatest QB’s?

      I hope that Solly does find his way because we need him to be an impact player. I wonder how much patience the Org would have had if was drafted in a later round though.

      1. AES – Certainly. There are all sorts of prognosticators, and the draft as a whole, minus very few exceptions, is a bit of a crap shoot. I’m not saying that he who developed into a top-tier DL, but I’m also not giving up on him after 1 + 1 game. I just thought it was too ironic, too perfect that a year-and-a-half ago somebody was speculating there would be an “ill-informed” columnist suggesting that he was a bust too early in his career… and whaddya know, here we are. As far as how much patience they would have had with a later round draft pick, I think you’re probably right (although, just to reiterate, it still has been just over 1 season). But that’s part of being a top draft pick; somewhere along the way enough people saw enough good things to suggest he’s worth it a little extra time and effort to develop. Maybe he will prove them right, maybe he will prove them wrong… I am just suggesting it will likely take more than 15 games (or whatever he has under his belt) to find out either way.

        1. MT9,
          Your point is well taken.
          I’m certainly not suggesting that we cut Solly after the 1st game of the season.

          I’m a little concerned that after one game he’s being moved to a different position. If he’s better at stopping the run why would the Org try him on the outside to begin with.
          Thomas may still make a splash this year but moving him around the Dline
          does not smack of confidence.

          This takes me back to the tweener topic. Playing on the inside, Solly is quick enough to stop the run if he can attack the gaps, but when he can’t find the gap he’s going to be swallowed up and worn out by the bigger Olinemen.

          We know that the Org does not view him playing the outside which is why he is being moved.
          IMO, this is a classic tweener problem.
          But I would give him this season for him to improve and hopefully establish his true position on the Dline.

          1. Yeah, agreed… shuffling him between positions doesn’t generate immediate confidence. That said, it could also be viewed as coaches just trying to make the best use of his abilities, and showing patience and willingness to let that play out. In looking back at the scouting reports on him, his ability to play multiple positions was actually one of the main strengths I saw mentioed almost across the board. Now whether that means he is a perpetual tweener (i.e. doesn’t excel at any 1 thing in any 1 position) or that he turns out to have the ability/flexibility to be good at lots of different positions… again, we’ll just have to wait and see. I guess for me, if he is not going to be a Myles Garrett on the outside or an Aaron Donald on the inside, I’d rather see him get experience and be solid everywhere across the line (i.e. maximise his diversity), than try to pigeonhole him in one position.

            1. Maybe he’ll end up being the Adam Snyder equivalent on defense? Can play at any position on the line without particularly excelling, or being the best player on the team at any particular position.

            2. Why not try him at WR….we certainly have the need….? Waiver wire…I know it’s stupid, but no more than keeping him and Garnett when we already know what they bring to the game…Hell, they’re both from Stanford….we’ll NEVER trade them….

    2. Yes, it is too early to give up on Thomas or to call him a bust.

      However, Bennett was an UDFA. Thomas the 3rd overall pick. You don’t draft guys in the first round, let alone top 3 picks, that you think will need three seasons before they figure it out. If it does take Thomas until his 4th year to become a good player then great, they at least get a good player eventually, but they still probably could have gotten more out of the pick.

      1. I can’t disagree. Just to play devil’s advocate though, if 5-6 years from now he is a fringe pro bowler each year, most folks won’t recall when he was drafted.

  17. I echo the sentiments of others on this board. The drafting of Thomas was a head-scratcher at the time. But his pre-draft ranking was also a head-scratcher. How can you rank a guy at #2 when all the scouting reports say he is an inside pass rusher and not an outside pass rusher, BUT that he is not big enough to pass rush from the inside. All the reports said that, which means it was never going to work for him, so why rank him #2. I guess they thought he could be another Aaron Donald, but he was smaller than Aaron Donald and the reports also said his weight was fairly maxed out. I never understood it, and I also didn’t understand how he fit the Niners needs at the time.

    Here is a case where the fans truly knew more than the experts. It was very strange. Last year I said to a friend that Thomas was the type of guy you trade for a 5th round pick after 3 years. That looks like it will become true.

    All of that said, I think that Shanahan/Lynch are definitely drafting better than Baalke. But they have made some unforced errors. Hopefully, they clean it up in the future or we will never be more than a mid-level team.

    One good thing is that it doesn’t seem like they are buying into the Baalke BS where it now takes players 3 years to develop. Seems like they are willing to move on fairly quickly if they have a choice.

    1. ‘Baalke BS that says it takes 3 years to develop.’ Baalke’s number one main problem was his terrible player assessments. His ACL strategy was a close second.
      .
      His assertion that it takes 3 years to develop is true for teams that have lots of talent and are playoff contenders. For the Niners, the 2-14 squad needed purging. On that team, even a 7th rounder had a chance to start.
      .
      Overall, a rookie will be best served if he can sit, study hard, and work out to get stronger so he can take the hits. If he is the best talent, and the team is forced to make him the starter, the team will be in trouble. That is why I advocate that the Niners should avoid drafting WRs, because they tend to become injured. It is better to fill the WR position with battle hardened, and battle tested free agents. Pettis may be a pleasant surprise, so there are always exceptions.

  18. The first pick in new management and they messed up big time. yes they traded down but either should of traded down some more or just picked the best player available at that spot but instead over drafted on a player who at this point won’t become much but maybe a good run stopper. He wasn’t really even on the radar until the bowl game before the combine. Who knows what the reason is they drafted him, I hope its not because he can rush the passer but I wonder what will be the reason if he gets released or traded that they give. people will say we got good value in the later rounds, but not really. They had to play those players because that’s who they had on the roster. Joe is gone. Beatherd might not even be a good backup QB. Witherspoon got beat badly on that TD pass but also good throw. They traded a pick to get a RB from Denver who they let go, Trent needs to stay healthy and continue to grow. Kittle should become a good TE if can stay healthy. Foster should be a great player.

  19. Yeah, yeah, yeah, let’s turn up the heat on Jimmy, Shanahan and now Thomas!!!

    Roll up, roll up, get your clicks here….. chessboy rips Niners …. roll up, roll up … remember how poppa made a career ripping Walsh & Montana… roll up, roll up, get your clicks here..

  20. Niners drafted Solomon Thomas at number 3, but they moved back to obtain 2018 second and third round draft picks.
    .
    With an extra second round pick, maybe the Niners thought they could afford to trade one away, and used their second round pick to obtain Jimmie Garoppolo. They used one of their picks from the Chicago trade back to move up to select Dante Pettis. They used another one of those picks to select Fred Warner.
    .
    Overall, the Niners leveraged that number 2 pick to help get Solomon Thomas, Dante Pettis, and Fred Warner. All 3 of those players are expected to contribute, and they improved the team.

    1. Wow, you make it sound like they got three extra players for trading down. They didn’t. They basically ended up with Pettis. The Niners gave up a third and a second for Pettis, which is very close to what they got from Chicago for moving down.

      BUT, NONE OF THAT MATTERS!!! They still screwed up the #3 pick. The trade down was good. The pick was bad. Any pick the fans would have made would have been better.

      1. Easy now… not “any pick”. And even a pick that may have looked better last year may not still look that way a year or two from now. Again… it’s been 1 season. Time will tell. As a reasonably good NFL QB once said… R E L A X

        1. Yes, “any pick”. All of the players that were otherwise in play for that pick are already and will continue to be better than Thomas AND a better fit for this team. So yes, “any pick.”

          The caps were to emphasize Seb’s horrid logic. The trade has nothing to do with the pick.

          And then his analysis was also completely wrong. We got two 3rds. One last year and one this year. The 3rd from last year was traded for a second this year. We used the second from this year and a third last year to trade up for Pettis. So by trading down, we picked up Pettis, not Pettis and Warner.

          Try to follow the argument and discussion instead of being the board monitor on who should relax.

          1. Calm down… No need for insults just cause someone disagrees with you. We’ve got enough of that these days in the “real” world.

            1. MT, tyvm.
              .
              I was just trying to put the draft in context. The trade back strategy allowed for the Niners to acquire more picks. that number 2 pick was leveraged into obtaining a defensive line man, wide receiver, and middle linebacker. Sure, there could have been different permutations, but Solomon Thomas is tied to those other picks.
              .
              Also, since I have followed the draft very closely, I am certain that the second round draft pick that the Niners obtained from NO was due to a third round pick from the Bears. That, and a later draft pick, was used by the Niners to move up with Washington, to select Pettis. On the NFL draft tracker, it shows that the Chicago 3rd round pick was traded to the Niners in the Trubisky trade, and was used to select Fred Warner.
              .
              No matter what, the selection of Thomas cannot be considered a bust, because he is on the team under a rookie contract, and has played a significant number of snaps. Once he gets more comfortable in his new role, I expect him to justify his number 3 status. Bill Walsh once said it did not matter where a player was chosen, just as long as he can help the team.

              1. Seb

                Rookie contract or no, Thomas is merely ‘dead weight’ at the position he is playing…a #3 playing back-up is a waste of both time and money (too much money) and experience for the other players ahead of him. The only reason that he has acquired a ‘significant’ number of snaps, is saving face for J Lynch who took him at #3….He is STILL being swallowed up by larger OT’s, and even TE’s, and unless he expects a Growth spurt…he’s not going to get bigger…Buckner, Armstead, Sheldon Day, Jullian Taylor, and mostly Ronnie Blairlll , and Kentavious Street (IR I know ) are all bigger, stronger, and faster with more length…What more needs to be said….

    1. No, it is not a good point. It is a flawed analysis. We basically ended up with Pettis. Not Pettis and Warner, and the Garoppolo trade has nothing to do with it.

  21. Rain is falling in Hawaii
    Rain is falling in the Carolinas
    The sky is falling in the chat room
    Lions and Vikings and Bears, oh my! 😱

  22. I’m just relieved that we don’t have to speculate about Solomon Thomas’s exact weight anymore. That was one stressful week.

  23. To clarify my earlier comment, I am not saying Thomas is and will be a complete bust. The fact he is a starter in base D and contributing to what looks to be a pretty solid DL unit suggests he isn’t garbage. But when a top 5 pick is unable to take over a starting role at his favoured position (which is 3T in nickel) by the start of his second year, where injuries have not held him back, then that is when you start thinking that pick could have been better used on something else.

    In this instance I think the issue is a combination of Thomas developing as a pass rusher a bit slower than hoped and, more importantly, the 49ers getting their evaluation of Armstead very wrong. Trying to convert him to Leo last year was a real mistake. It held Armstead’s development back another year, and took him out of his best position. Basically, Armstead and Thomas are best in the same role – DE in base and 3T in nickel. And Armstead is the better pass rusher right now. There was no need to use the 3rd overall pick on Thomas last year.

    This of course is not a new argument. Many people have been saying this since before last years draft. Based on what we saw in week 1, it appears that belief is now being confirmed.

    I will also point out that I am not one to focus on where players are drafted once they are on the team – Thomas is a valuable contributor on the DL unit and end of the day that is all that matters. The above is simply pointing out that in a do over, the team would probably recognise they already had a player for the role they envisaged for Thomas.

    1. “The above is simply pointing out that in a do over, the team would probably recognise they already had a player for the role they envisaged for Thomas.”
      Scooter

      I can understand the Org’s desire to draft a player high in the draft that could help with our miserable run defense.

      Thomas came with very good credentials out of college and in some football outlets was rated the top player at his position.

      But as I mentioned earlier, ST is going up against the best players at their position and as we saw last year he got as Grant put it, “engulfed.”

      Solomon has yet to show a glimpse of what I saw him do in college which leads me to believe that his biggest issue may be his size.
      Btw, I touted Mahomes for our top pick – but like the mafia movies say. “what’s done, is done”.

      1. And his speed and quickness. Thomas just does not have the pass rush traits needed at this level. He can transform his body all he wants, it won’t matter if he can’t shed tackles and guards

      2. They didn’t draft Thomas 3rd overall just to be a run defender. He was expected to be a threat rushing the passer also.

        As for what his issue is as a pass rusher, I don’t think it is his size, he’s big enough to handle 3T duties in nickel and a good size to be able to handle DE duties in base. And its definitely not his speed or quickness as Chris suggests, he’s very fast and quick for his size. I think his issues are that he isn’t agile or flexible enough to turn the corner as an edge player, and his technique isn’t good enough right now for either spot.

            1. With his work ethic and help from coaches, players, family/friends; the skies the limit. I mean after 7 years, Brandon Graham was an alternate last year. I wouldn’t bet against Thomas getting there….

              1. We all saw how Solomon Thomas dominated in that bowl game.
                .
                I really liked his quick first step, and hope he can start doing that in the pros.

  24. Joe Staley on Jimmy Garoppolo: “There’s going to be games where sometimes it’s not perfect, and there’s going to be games he has 5 touchdowns, no interceptions and a sh(censored by B2D)it-ton of yards. We have all the confidence in the world in him.”

    – Cam Inman

  25. Let’s say Sherman is a shut-down corner. Here’s what I want to occasionally see: Rush five; Thomas, Buckner, and Armstead inside; especially, because both Foster and Warner can cover tight ends and backs.

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