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.
Before selecting Solomon Thomas, the San Francisco 49ers traded down one spot with the Chicago Bears, who took quarterback Mitch Trubisky with the number two selection. The 49ers received the Bears number 3 pick in exchange, plus a third-round pick (No. 67), a fourth-round pick (No. 111) and a third-round pick in 2018 as well.
Later we learned the new general manager, John Lynch would have likely took Thomas at pick No. 2, but managed to add three more picks in the process. Many fans projected a lot of talented players to be selected by the 49ers, but Thomas was one of my early favorites. Here is the link of my podcast with 49ers Fangirl, Tracy Sandler and our guest, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, if you want to listen.
To be honest, the primary reason Thomas stood out to me is because PAC-12 is what is shown in my area and Thomas impressed me with his leadership. Moreover, his motor never turns off. He was a team captain at Stanford and drove that defense in so many ways. Thomas is one sturdy cornerstone, and for a rebuilding squad in search of leadership — this pick made sense for the San Francisco 49ers. He’s also excellent against the run, something the 49ers were terrible at last season.
Age: 21 (22 on December 20)
Weight: 273 lbs.
At this point, Thomas is the only rookie that remains unsigned by the 49ers. It has been noted he is represented by the same agent as Joey Bosa. It is hard to believe this would be similar to the Bosa contract situation, because the Chargers were asking for unprecedented offset language and deferred payment of Bosa’s signing bonus.
Last year, the 49ers last signing was Joshua Garnett who did not sign until July 29. Garnett was a late round pick after the 49ers moved up into the first round to draft him. Considering Stanford is late on the academic calendar and the NFL prohibits players from practicing with their new team until classes are no longer in session, this could be a large reason Thomas remains unsigned.
The CBA negotiated in 2011 the rookie wage scale, which makes total value fairly formulaic. According to Over The Cap’s formulations, the third overall pick should receive a contract worth $28,154,382, with a signing bonus of $18,615,912. He will likely also receive roster bonuses in the second, third, and fourth years. The entire contract will be fully guaranteed, and there will be a fifth year option.
Any remaining negotiation on the deal likely covers offset language.
What to expect in 2017
As stated above, Thomas has gotten a late start with San Francisco due to Stanford’s academic calendar, with finals ending on June 14.
Nonetheless, Thomas has been in touch with defensive line coach, Jeff Zgonina. The 49ers first round pick has been viewed primarily as a strong defensive end player in the base. Thomas can also slide to the interior line in passing downs, three technique for pass rush situations. Recently, Thomas said the team wants him to learn LEO as well in an interview with SiriusXM NFL radio.
It appears the 49ers want players to learn how to play many different roles, which is smart considering the defensive depth and allows for more versatility all around.
What is most exciting is Thomas’s ability to lead and take ownership of the defensive side of the roster. In a team that is desperate for player leadership, Thomas provides a likable spirit and unifying quality needed. Although NaVorro Bowman is the heart and soul of the defense, there is no doubt Thomas is going to bring needed moral to the rebuilding process.
Odds of making the roster
This young defensive end and first round pick will absolutely make the roster. Although he has had a late start with the team, Thomas sought out Demarcus Ware undoubtedly for tips on pass rushing. He also worked out with Hall of Fame defensive lineman Warren Sapp. Additionally, he wrangled an invite to work out with Von Miller. It would appear he is already becoming a fan favorite by his work-ethic alone.