No. 2: Defensive Lineman Solomon Thomas to the Bengals
The 49ers have an awfully deep defensive line, which is arguably the team’s best strength this season. So deep, in fact, John Lynch could afford to trade off some excess capital.
One player who could be moved is defensive end Solomon Thomas, Lynch’s first selection back during the 2017 NFL Draft.
It’s clear the former No. 3 overall selection will never live up to his draft stock. He’s a rotational player now, stuck behind an already deep crop of defenders who are both outplaying him and seeing far more of the field.
Thomas has seen just over a third of the team’s defensive snaps this season so far. In comparison, rookie EDGE Nick Bosa is seeing over two-thirds of the defensive snaps.
Thomas does provide depth, yes. But his role isn’t exactly something the Niners would be unable to find somewhere else, either currently on the roster or out on the waiver wire. And given Thomas is still only 24 years old, there’s plenty of room for another team to take a flier on potential.
One team which could use Thomas’ services is the Cincinnati Bengals, who again boast one of the league’s worst defenses this year, particularly against the run.
Thomas, despite his underachievement, is still an excellent run stopper and offers an OK inside pass rush. And with the Bengals likely drafting very early in the draft, netting Cincinnati’s Round 4 pick would essentially make up for the Niners trading off their own third rounder.