49ers: 3 players who stand to lose a lot during 2020 NFL Draft

Solomon Thomas #94 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Solomon Thomas #94 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Solomon Thomas, 49ers
Solomon Thomas #94 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

No. 1: Defensive End Solomon Thomas

The 49ers’ trade of defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts opens up a serious void in the middle of the defensive line, and one figures the Niners’ top pick from the 2017 NFL Draft, defensive end Solomon Thomas, can benefit from a serious uptick in snap count within the interior of the line where he’s had the most success in his brief career.

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That said, Thomas has been underwhelming since joining San Francisco, and it isn’t as if those interior snaps have been consistently impressive.

Plus, Thomas enters a contract year ahead of a would-be fifth-year option the 49ers aren’t likely to give him.

In that sense, Thomas is playing for his NFL career in 2020.

While it doesn’t appear to be a strong possibility, there’s always the chance the Niners use one of their two first-round picks on an interior lineman. Names like Auburn’s Derrick Brown and South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw could potentially fall out of the top 10, which would at least get San Francisco thinking about keeping the D-line the team’s most potent unit.

Should something like that happen, Thomas would likely again be relegated to nothing more than a rotational piece, which would all but spell his last season in San Francisco.

Next. 3 dark-horse targets for 49ers' first pick in 2020 NFL Draft. dark

The 2020 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 23.