It was a very excited Solomon Thomas that spoke to the media via conference call after being selected by the San Francisco 49ers. Thomas will not have to move very far, if at all, after spending his college career down the road from 49ers headquarters while attending Stanford. Being so close to the facility made him a 49ers fan by proxy and as much as he could, Thomas watched 49ers games very closely.
Thomas said he has a fan of linebacker NaVorro Bowman as well as former PAC12 opponents Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner who he will be working with very closely with in just a few weeks.
It’s not like I watched every game, but when I could I tried to put them on TV. I watched [DL] Arik Armstead and [DL] DeForest Buckner in college. So, I tried to see them a little bit more and they’re great young players on the rise and it’s going to be an honor to learn from them. I love watching hard-nose football. So, I love watching NaVorro Bowman and how he plays and some other players. I can’t wait to play with them and learn from them and be under their wing.
Buckner expressed his approval in a welcome tweet:
Thomas was very complimentary of his new teammate:
DeForest is a great rusher. He’s huge. He’s 6-8. He can throw guys around and he’s very strong. So, I think that I can bring that quickness and that explosion inside as well so we can feed off each other and make things work really nice in there.
There have been a lot of questions about why the 49ers would pick another defensive lineman so high when it’s the one position they seem to have decent depth at. Thomas commented on how how might be utilized.
You know, I talked about that with the defensive line coach at the combine. Kind of lining up in the end position and stuff so I can move down to that three tech, and be able to rush with DeForest or Arik in there. So, you know that’s really what we talked about and I’m excited to figure out and learn more about the system.
Thomas is 6’3, 256 lbs. and could become the LEO in Robert Saleh’s defensive scheme. Michael Bennett plays in that role in Seattle which is another defense that Thomas is familiar with. Once he heard the Buckner and Armstead were planning on working with Bennett in Hawaii during the offseason, he admitted he would love to join them.
I mean that would be awesome. You know, Hawaii’s an amazing place. I haven’t been since I was two years old, so I don’t remember it. So, going back and being able to train with some great NFL players and learn from them, that would be a blessing
Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch will be speaking to the media after the conclusion of day one and I’m sure there will be questions about why they used their first pick on a defensive linemen and how he will fit in the scheme. Stay tuned.