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49ers’ Solomon Thomas worked out with Aaron Donald, is in ‘fantastic shape,’ reports Middlekauff

Jul 18, 2019 at 10:44 AM

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Solomon Thomas' first two NFL seasons haven't blown anyone away. He understands that. After struggling with a devastating loss last year, the third-year defensive tackle looks to have a breakout season in 2019.

Expectations have lowered for Thomas. He has acknowledged that he didn't perform up to the team's, fans', or his own standards last year. Thomas is, however, still a former No. 3 overall pick and is one of five first-round selections which make up the 49ers' defensive front.

Thomas has been working hard this offseason to become the player he knows he can be.

"I was drafted third overall for a reason, because I'm a good player," Thomas told NBC Sports Bay Area in May. "It's time I just put all the expectations and pressure out of me, and just worry about me and what I know I can do.

"I know I'm a good player, and I know I'm here for a reason. I know my strengths. I know who I am on the field. I know who I am as a teammate in the locker room."

As far as Thomas' physical strength, one former NFL scout, John Middlekauff of The Athletic, noticed that the defensive player looked like he was in "fantastic shape" during organized team activities. Thomas has spent part of the team's break working out with five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Aaron Donald of the division-rival Los Angeles Rams.

"Thomas looks like he's in fantastic shape," Middlekauff wrote for The Athletic. "It was something I noticed during OTAs — he clearly has taken his workouts to a new level and is spending time with the right guy in Aaron Donald."

Middlekauff posted the following photo of the workout group earlier this week.

"If Thomas is going to succeed, it will be as an inside pass rusher," Middlekauff continued. "And there's no better player to spend time with than Donald if you want to beat guards and centers."

Middlekauff also notes that the 49ers attempted to trade Thomas this offseason, but no NFL team showed interest due to his lack of production paired with his cost. Thomas has just four tackles through his first two NFL seasons and had only one last year.

News of the 49ers shopping Thomas was first reported by Pro Football Talk on April 25 just hours before the NFL Draft. Matt Barrows of The Athletic also heard whispers that the 49ers were looking for suitors for Thomas.

General manager John Lynch, of course, quickly denied the report that the 49ers were shopping Thomas.

"It's not accurate," Lynch told the media. "We usually don't respond to every one of these rumors that happens in today's world. I had Solly up in my office today, and we just talked exactly where he is. He's a big part of our team right now. We're extremely excited about moving forward with him."

Thomas will have another season to prove himself to the 49ers and could find himself in a good situation next to Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner with pass rushers Nick Bosa and Dee Ford potentially causing havoc on the edges.

"I'd imagine the 49ers front office envisions late-game scenarios with the lead, when Bosa and Ford attack from the edges with Thomas and DeForest Buckner taking on the interior linemen," Middlekauff adds.
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