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How will Solomon Thomas fit in the 49ers defense?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 27: (L-R) Solomon Thomas of Stanford poses with Commissioner of the National Football League Roger Goodell after being picked #3 overall by the San Francisco 49ers (from Bears) during the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on April 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

The 49ers have now invested a first-round pick on a defensive lineman for the third straight year. With so much draft capital tied up in three players that can essentially play similar positions, the question becomes how Solomon Thomas will fit in the new 49ers defense with Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner already there. Buckner and Thomas are at their best inside, but all three players should be able to be moved around their defensive line and be productive.

  • All three players can play both defensive end and defensive tackle, and all three have logged more snaps inside at defensive tackle than outside at defensive end in 2016.
  • 2015 first-round pick No. 17: Armstead played 106 snaps at left defensive end, 38 at right defensive end and 135 snaps inside at defensive tackle in 2016.
  • 2016 first-round pick No. 7: Buckner played 382 snaps at right defensive end, 13 snaps at left defensive end and 581 snaps inside at defensive tackle in 2016.
  • 2017 first-round pick No. 3: Thomas played 336 snaps at left end and 395 snaps at left defensive tackle at Stanford in 2016.

Solomon Thomas grades

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