The San Francisco 49ers will roll out their starting lineup for a sizable chunk of Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, and I am particularly curious to see how much playing time, and where, Solomon Thomas gets. He is viewed as a guy who can play end in the base defense and then move inside to tackle in sub-packages. But with Tank Carradine having a solid camp, according to reports, and showing up for stretches in preseason games, the 49ers will have some decisions to make about their rotation.
GM John Lynch has been high on Thomas dating back to the pre-draft process, and he continues to rave about his development. Lynch made an appearance on KNBR Thursday night, and he talked about Thomas’ improvement over the course of training camp. He talked about bringing him along slowly, and using extensive rotations along the line, but he is wildly optimistic about Thomas. Here’s what Lynch had to say.
“There’s a lot to work on because simply from the fact that with the rule where he wasn’t allowed here during the offseason, he didn’t have any practices. So his first practice was in training camp, and so there was a learning curve — to get used to things, and the way we do things. Solomon, I think, has been excellent. He’s been everything we’ve wanted and more. I think we all saw that on display at Kansas City. So much that even against Denver, in his early reps when he was in there, they were sliding the line towards Solomon. So he’s already garnering the respect that we thought he would.
“The coolest thing is to watch him come out this week — he gets better every day. He’s got some unique qualities. You don’t get drafted that high unless you have unique qualities. We think he’s gonna wreak havoc for years to come. I don’t think people should be surprised, he’s a guy we’re gonna kind of take it slow with as well. He’s 273 pounds, and so he's not a guy who's gonna play every snap of every game. We're going to pick our spots as to where we feel like he can be most impactful and effective, and we've got the depth at that position to be able to do that. But he will make his presence known. I'm confident in that."