Defensive lineman Solomon Thomas
The No. 3 overall pick in the draft, expectations are high for the pass-rusher from Stanford. Thomas joins a group that already features two first-round picks in Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner — and that has been the cause of debate.
Where does everybody fit? This season, the 49ers will employ a 4-3 defensive scheme. Armstead and Buckner were drafted as 3-4 defensive ends, which was the scheme San Francisco used to run. Reports have it that Armstead might be the one making a switch to the edge, playing the LEO position. Right now though it is hard to get a definitive answer as the team is experimenting itself.
This, on Thomas’ fit with the 49ers, from the Sacramento Bee‘s Matt Barrows:
"How does first-round pick Solomon Thomas fit into the mix? He’ll likely play the ‘big’ defensive end spot on base downs and be part of the rotation at defensive tackle on passing downs. He, DeForest Buckner and Armstead could rotate at the two defensive tackle spots in the nickel alignment."
Regardless of fit, Thomas figures to be getting a heavy amount of playing time and is being touted by analysts. These are some of the reasons I think he’ll have a fine rookie campaign.
Prediction — 45 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 9 sacks, 2 forced fumbles