Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

49ers sign 1st-round draft pick Solomon Thomas

Jul 28, 2017 at 10:43 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers have signed rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, who played college football at Stanford. With the signing, the 49ers now have their entire 2017 draft class under contract and Thomas can join his teammates who reported to training camp on Thursday.

The announcement was made by 49ers general manager John Lynch, who posted a photo of Thomas signing his contract while the team can be seen through a window in the background going through their first training camp practice.

"I feel like we are extremely close," Lynch said Friday morning during an interview on KNBR. He said that he hoped the 49ers could get the deal completed on Friday, which came to fruition.

Thomas was selected with the third overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. In a trade with the Chicago Bears, the 49ers moved down one spot from two and gained three extra picks in the process.

Thomas became the third defensive lineman the team has selected with its top pick in the past three years. In 2016, the 49ers selected DeForest Buckner out of Oregon with the seventh overall selection. The year before, they selected Arik Armstead – also out of Oregon – with the 17th overall selection.

Due to league rules, Thomas was unable to participate in the 49ers' offseason program because Stanford students had not yet completed finals. Unlike most other NCAA schools, Stanford is on the quarter system.

While Thomas was unable to join his new teammates, he has been working hard this offseason by training with Hall of Fame defensive lineman Warren Sapp. During the spring, he worked out with pass rusher DeMarcus Ware, who played for the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos. Thomas even changed his jersey number from 96 to 94 in honor of Ware. He has also worked out with Atlanta Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley, who led the NFL last season with 15.5 sacks, and attended Denver Broncos edge rusher Von Miller's pass rush camp held at Stanford in June.

Thomas saw his stock rise in 2016 when he had 61 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and was First-Team All PAC-12. That stock rose further following the Sun Bowl against North Carolina and his showing at the NFL Scouting Combine, where he ran a 4.69-second 40-yard dash. While the bulk of his playing time at Stanford was in the interior, Thomas believes he is versatile enough to play wherever the 49ers ask him to.

"I've played up and down the line, whether it was a full season or a game," Solomon told KNBR while discussing his versatility. "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."

Pro Football Focus rated Thomas as the nation's best defender against the run in 2016. The 49ers defense ranked last in the NFL against the run last season – along with a number of other categories. The unit allowed a league-high 165.9 rushing yards per game to opposing offenses and set a franchise record in rushing yards allowed.

Thanks to the 2011 CBA, all rookie contracts are now for a length of four years. First-round selections come with an option for teams to pick up the fifth year. Having set numbers for each spot eliminates the need to negotiate salary and only leaves items like bonus payment terms, roster bonus allocations, and other miscellaneous structural items.

The total value of Thomas' four-year contract is believed to be $28,154,382 or very close to that amount, according to Over the Cap. That includes a signing bonus of $18,615,912 and a 2017 salary cap figure of $5,118,978.

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