Ranking the 49ers 10 biggest disappointments of 2019

Dante Pettis #18 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Dante Pettis #18 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Solomon Thomas, 49ers
Solomon Thomas #94 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

No. 3: Defensive End Solomon Thomas

In year one of his pro career, defensive end Solomon Thomas was frequently being played out of position and never came close to living up to his No. 3 overall NFL Draft-pick status. In year two, Thomas suffered the tragic and premature passing of his sister, Ella, which wreaked havoc on Thomas’ own mental state.

Coming into 2019, though, Thomas appeared to be completely refocused and committed to living up to the kind of player the 49ers thought he’d be when they took him back in 2017.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened.

Thomas has been outplayed completely by his top on-roster competition, defensive tackle Arik Armstead, who was the first Niners player to reach double-digit sacks this season.

Thomas, meanwhile, has just two sacks and only 17 tackles in a rotational role.

Yes, rotational depth has been crucial to the 49ers’ defensive line success this season, and the fact Thomas has seen 38.2 percent of snaps means he at least has a serviceable role backing up the deep crop of other upfront defenders.

But that’s far from the expectation level San Francisco once had for a top-five draft pick, and it doesn’t look like that’ll change anytime soon.