Solomon Thomas is easily the biggest name the San Francisco 49ers drafted, and many believe he has the highest upside. He’s a defensive linemen who can get after the quarterback, which puts his type above all but the quarterback position when it comes to value at the top-end of the NFL Draft.
But many who dig a little deeper have positive things to say about linebacker Reuben Foster. The 49ers’ recent history of incredibly strong linebacker play makes Foster a more intriguing player. It’s not difficult to imagine him playing up to the level of Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman — that kind of play would make him one of the best in the league.
We’re a long way from that. But how long? Foster will be competing for a starting spot early, but he does seem like someone who needs a little bit of time, like Bowman did in his rookie year. As such, it’s not so surprising to hear talk about Thomas and not Foster.
At the SB Nation mothership, they took a look at rookie of the year candidates for each team, and they picked Thomas, an easy pick, for the 49ers.
“Thomas, who gets his quick feet from Irish step dancing in his teens, is a versatile defensive end who can scramble passers and tailbacks with equal aplomb,” the article says. “He’s a big presence who can record the kind of sack numbers to sway voters this season. San Francisco’s rebuilding defensive depth chart should afford him plenty of pass-rushing chances.”
That’s all true for sure. While I think Foster has the higher ceiling overall and while I think he’ll be better by this time next year, rookie of the year candidates are usually those who can put up the big stats. Sacks, touchdowns, interceptions and that kind of thing.
Or do you think Foster has what it takes to compete for the honor as a rookie?