Tha Sports Junkies 101

Solomon Thomas Selected Third in the 2017 NFL Draft

Solomon Thomas

Solomon Thomas picked third overall by the San Francisco 49ers

Solomon Thomas is an excellent example of how deep the draft is defensively. One of the more intriguing defensive line prospects in the draft, he’s loved by the media but not NFL personnel. Many mock drafts have Solomon Thomas projected as high as second overall to the 49ers. San Francisco struggled to stop the run last season finishing last in yards allowed. According to Pro Football Focus, Thomas was the number one rated run defender in the nation in 2016.

He led the Cardinals in tackles, (61) sacks, (8.0) and tfl (15.0) and had a dominating performance in the Sun Bowl against Mitch Tribisky and North Carolina. Having won three games in the past three seasons the 49ers clearly need difference-makers on both sides of the ball. Thomas is a tone setter, and is the type of player that General Manager John Lynch would value.

Solomon Thomas Strengths (Per Football Focus)

  • Elite run defender who uses strength to shed blockers easily
  • Can generate pass-rush from the edge or the interior of the defensive line
  • Wins as a pass-rusher with both power and speed
  • Greatly improved as a pass-rusher in 2016 and saw his pass-rush production nearly double
  • Pass-rush productivity of 9.0 ranks No. 16 among DTs in draft class
  • 10 sacks, 12 hits and 22 hurries on 394 pass-rush snaps
  • Moves quickly up and down the line of scrimmage in the run game
  • Showed the ability to take on and shed all types of blocks in the run game
  • Great feel for “back” blocks on “power” plays. Often disrupted plays two gaps away
  • Has the quickness to attack one-gap and the ability to locate and shed to play two-gaps
  • Good quickness into gaps on stunts, strong leg drive to bull-rush larger opponents
  • Held up well as an undersized nose tackle in Stanford’s scheme. Anchors well when losing on first contact

Draft Grade B+

Thomas has a penchant for taking plays off  but that could improve with NFL coaching. New 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh stressed that stopping the run would be a point of emphasis and Thomas is an exceptional run stuffer. Although he lacks ideal size (6’2 273) and may not have a true position he offers excellent versatility.