The San Francisco 49ers expect big, big things out of their first-round picks from 2017. Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster are both starters, or close enough to it depending on the rotation and the gameplan on a week-to-week basis. Foster in particular was recently called “ahead of schedule” by 49ers coaching and Thomas has been effective on the defensive line.
It’s interesting to see how everyone else sees these players through three preseason games, especially the fine folks at Pro Football Focus. In the past I’ve made it clear I don’t think there is much to gain from rankings and overall ratings, but they do a good job of getting into the nitty gritty.
On Tuesday, they posted a quick review of every first-round pick from 2017 and their performance in Week 3 preseason games.
For Thomas, they noted that he registered a quarterback hurry and had a “solid outing,” while only three of his snaps came on non-passing plays. He played a total of 22 snaps.
For Foster, they noted his closing speed on the swing pass to Vikings running back Dalvin Cook that resulted in a loss of yardage. They say Foster “looks like a star performer” after a “strong outing.” He played in 35 snaps.
If I had to guess, I’d say Foster has the better rookie season, but that Thomas will get more national attention because he’ll get sacks. The headlines revolve around sacks, way more than tackles and things like that. Foster is going to be on the level of NaVorro Bowman as far as I’m concerned, while Thomas has a lot of room to grow and improve.
Either way, a good summation of their performances against the Vikings. Hopefully, we won’t see much of them against the Los Angeles Chargers in the fourth preseason outing.