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Solomon Thomas discusses the importance of versatility

Apr 28, 2017 at 3:56 PM--

One of the perceived negatives about the San Francisco 49ers' newest defensive lineman, Solomon Thomas, has been his fit on the defense. While the bulk of his playing time at Stanford was in the interior, his ability to play on the edge, where he would be most valuable to the 49ers, is an unknown.

It is entirely likely that Thomas will play on the opposite side of the "Leo" spot, which is typically reserved for the team's best pass rusher, or inside at defensive tackle – or both. Thomas is confident that he is versatile enough to play anywhere the 49ers want to put him. The 49ers' top selection in the 2017 NFL Draft joined KNBR on Friday to discuss the importance of his versatility.

"I came in (to Stanford) thinking I was going to be an outside linebacker," Thomas said. "Played defensive end so I trained all my high school offseason to be an outside linebacker. Came in as a defensive end, played defensive end. Sophomore year, played nose guard and defensive tackle. Went back out to defensive end and kind of like a wide-9, wide-5 position sometimes as well.

"I've played up and down the line, whether it was a full season or a game. I've played everywhere on that line. That's what's huge to me, especially during this process again. I tried to make myself marketable to be an outside linebacker as well just to get teams to think I can do that as well. I can play anywhere on this d-line. I'm excited to play for these coaches and these players."

You can listen to the entire interview on KNBR, including the story of his heated Connect Four matches with former teammate Christian McCaffrey.

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