Maximizing Player Potential
With their first pick in the draft, the 49ers selected defensive end Solomon Thomas. Many fans were skeptical on the pick because the last thing they wanted was another defensive lineman. After two consecutive overall picks spent on the front four, many felt the selection would benefit the team greater if it was used on the secondary.
Regardless of where Thomas lines up, Shanahan saw something in him that was intriguing. Now that he’s on the roster it’s time to start thinking about where he fits the best. With the potential of Thomas and fellow first rounders Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner, the 49ers have a lot of talent along the defensive front.
Talent on your roster is of no use to you if it’s not on the field as much as possible. Shanahan needs to figure out how to put these three monsters on the field at the same time. Granted, everyone loves having quality depth on their team, the value is huge.
On the other hand, stacking your defense with the best guys available will wreak havoc on opposing offenses.
There’s no doubt that Shanahan also loved the versatility of Thomas. Given his ability to play end and tackle, he gives the team options. If the combination of the three lineman turns out to be a recipe for success, the 49ers could be set along the front four for many years to come.
However, if they are not put in a position to succeed, or placed in a spot that will maximize their potential, you may never know just how great they could have been.
That’s the difference between a prospect on the rise and a bust.
In the game of football atmosphere is everything. This is only the beginning of the teams search for an identity. Right now, Shanahan is bringing in players that fit his style of play.
What you are witnessing is the beginning of his championship culture.