Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but you get the idea.
The close of the 2016 NFL Draft means we begin the final lengthy haul toward the start of the new season. We are approximately 90 days from the training camp reporting date for San Francisco 49ers veterans. The team has OTAs and minicamp, and then the dead period in late June and early July, but next thing you know, it will be training camp! We've begun our annual 90-in-90 series, starting out fairly low key. Today, we move on to offensive guard Brandon Thomas.
The 49ers drafted Thomas with a compensatory pick in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Thomas suffered a torn ACL a month prior to the draft during a workout with the New Orleans Saints. He was viewed as a potential early second round pick prior to the injury, and had generally been fairly injury free.
Thomas sat out his first year with the 49ers, spending the season on the NFI list. He made the 53-man roster in 2015, but was inactive for 15 of 16 games. The one game he was active, he did not play a single snap. After the season, he mentioned in an interview with Australian media that he dealt with a high ankle sprain during the 2015 season. He did not provide any additional details about the timing of the injury.
Signed a 4-year deal worth $2,726,016 after being drafted by the 49ers. He is signed through 2017, with a 2016 base salary of $600,000, and a cap figure of $816,504. He would likely be a restricted free agent when his contract ends in 2017.
What to expect in 2016
Thomas does not get improve/regress because he has yet to play a snap in the regular season. He got preseason snaps for the first time last year, and then sat out the year. Considering the 49ers drafted a pair of offensive linemen that could both get some time at guard, I expect sort of an all or nothing year from Thomas. Either he impresses this offseason and through the preseason and becomes the primary backup guard, or he is not on the roster.
Odds of making the roster
I'm leaning toward not making the roster. Thomas was viewed as more of a gap blocker coming out of college. Chip Kelly's offense will include more than just zone blocking, but experience primarily in gap blocking is not exactly ideal for a player in Thomas' situation. It's hard to say for certain what his status is given the lack of any playing time his first two years, but I would not be surprised to see him cut during or at the end of training camp.