There is no doubt the San Francisco 49ers organization, under John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan, have done a superb job building this roster through the NFL draft. From George Kittle to Deebo Samuel, the front office has a ton of hits through scouting. The draft is an imperfect science and process, and many people compare it to a crapshoot.
For every Talanoa Hufanga and Dre Greenlaw, there are picks like CJ Beathard and Joe Williams. Play on the field is one contributor to an underwhelming career for a draft pick. Sometimes, health is the reason. Just ask Jalen Hurd. Other times, a player is the victim of their draft capital.
The question is, which draft pick disappointed the most during the Lynch/Shanahan era?
Dante Pettis, despite a strong start to his career, fizzled out fast. Reuben Foster’s talent wasn’t enough to overcome his off-the-field issues. Trey Sermon spent one season as a 49er before being released.
As far as disappointment goes, unfortunately, Solomon Thomas must bear the title of “most disappointing.”
Let me be clear. Thomas is an incredible human being. His contributions to the community and various charities speak to the high character this organization coveted. There is the well-known story of Lynch and Thomas being classmates at Stanford. Both took a management science and engineering course.
Having said that, the 49ers used the third overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft on Thomas. After four seasons as a 49er, Thomas totaled six sacks. 2017 was Thomas’ best statistical season with 41 combined tackles, ten tackles for loss, and 11 QB hits.
Playing in 46 games from 2017 through 2019 meant Thomas was durable. 2020 was a bad time for many 49er players and injuries, Thomas lost his season to the MetLife Stadium turf.
Thomas would go on to play for Las Vegas and the New York Jets. While nobody can question Thomas’ character and dedication to charity work and community, it is hard to find a player who was more disappointing during the Lynch and Shanahan era, unfortunately.
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