Rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas doesn't have the flashy numbers one might expect out of a third-overall draft pick. For now, that doesn't matter to the San Francisco 49ers coaching staff. Thomas is doing precisely what they expected out of him during his rookie season. However, expectations down the road may be different.

On Wednesday, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh joined KNBR and discussed his rookie defensive lineman, who has been playing the majority of his snaps along the edge. The 49ers would eventually like to see Thomas playing more in the interior of the defensive line.

"The way we're built, defensively, it's very similar to -- like, (Seattle Seahawks defensive end) Michael Bennett plays outside on base downs, and then he gets inside on rush downs," Saleh said on the "Gary & Larry" show. "It's kind of the way our system is built. So we won't put him in that category yet. I think he's got potential – obviously, the sky's the limit – as a dominant edge run defender. In our scheme, everything is about edges. To be able to dominate in the run game, everything's about edges, and he is an extremely violent edge defender in the run game. He is really, really good.

"Now, where he needs to get better would be his, obviously, in pass rush where sometimes I just feel like he might be thinking too much. But, at the same time, he has shown a lot of improvement over the years.

"So, inside is where he's going to make his hay. We'd like to play him in there on run downs, eventually. But right now, for him, trying to keep his responsibility as small, his workload as light as possible so he can just go fast. We trust that, over time, that he's going to develop into everything that we need out of him but, right now, it's just him just trying to learn exactly what it is that he has to do to win one-on-ones in both the run game and the pass game."

Thomas has 25 quarterback pressures and 13 run stops through 11 games and nine starts this season, according to Pro Football Focus. He has brought down opposing quarterbacks twice.

You can listen to the entire interview with Saleh below.