The draft selection of defensive lineman Solomon Thomas continues to be scrutinized. He was the No. 3 overall pick in 2017 and the first draft selection of the John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan era in San Francisco. It doesn't help that, other than tight end George Kittle, that draft class hasn't produced too many game-changing players.

Linebacker Reuben Foster, the 49ers' second first-round pick from that draft class, had the potential to be impactful. Off-the-field issues, however, ended his time with the team. Shanahan fought to draft running back Joe Williams, but he never appeared in a game before being waived last year.

Thomas remains on the team and so do the lofty expectations that come with being a high draft pick. He has produced just four sacks in his two NFL seasons, and rumors even circulated that the 49ers were shopping him during the draft. Lynch promptly denied the report.

"I had Solly up in my office today, and we just talked exactly where he is, and he's a big part of our team right now that we're extremely excited about moving forward with him," Lynch told reporters on April 25. columnist Adam Schein recently listed Thomas among nine NFL players under the most pressure in 2019. While wide receiver Antonio Brown of the Oakland Raiders headlined the list, Thomas came in at No. 9.

Schein wrote the following about the 49ers' third-year player:

"The first pick John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan ever made -- in the third overall slot of the 2017 NFL Draft-- has been totally invisible. Thomas, who famously first bonded with Lynch when they took a class together at Stanford in the summer of 2014, seemed like a safe pick with plenty of upside. Two years into his NFL career, the defensive end has four sacks.

"2019 is go time for the Niners as a team. I think they are going to surprise a lot of people and win a ton of games. On offense, Shanahan has Jimmy Garoppolo back under center and a cadre of new toys to play with (free-agent signee Tevin Coleman, as well as versatile draft picks Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd). On defense, Lynch seriously beefed up the front seven by adding Kwon Alexander, Dee Ford and No. 2 overall pick Nick Bosa. Imagine if Thomas lives up to the hype. Or even resembles a legit starting NFL player."

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  • Will Solomon Thomas emerge as an impact player in 2019?
  • Yes
  • No
  • 911 votes