San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Solomon Thomas had a nice game on Monday night against the Denver Broncos. He had four tackles and a couple of pressures through 37 snaps while playing along both the interior and edge.

For those tired of seeing Thomas lining up on the outside, that isn't necessarily the plan for the third-year player during the upcoming season. He could see snaps there in certain game situations, but it shouldn't be his primary role. Thomas was playing there on Monday night because edge rushers Dee Ford and Nick Bosa were out.

The 49ers are hoping Thomas is primed for a breakout season and shows why the team selected him No. 3 overall in general manager John Lynch's and head coach Kyle Shanahan's first-ever draft with San Francisco.

Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was asked before Wednesday's practice what he saw from Thomas on Monday night.

"So Solomon, I thought he had a really, really nice game," Saleh responded. "One play, I'm sure he wishes he had back, but he's playing with very little indecision, he's very decisive, he's got good technique, he's playing very fast. I like where he's at mentally. I like where he's at physically."

Thomas should see significant playing time on Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs, too. Saleh didn't have an estimate yet on how much because the coaching staff won't meet to discuss the game plan as far as playing time until later in the week — most likely Friday.

"I really liked his game (against the Broncos)," Saleh continued. "I thought he did a nice job. He probably could have came away with two sacks. Some of the guys left him hanging on the rush with contain and all that stuff, but I thought he did a nice job."

The 49ers are deeper along the defensive front than they have been in years. The team boasts five former first-round picks along the defensive line, Thomas included. The others are Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, Dee Ford, and Nick Bosa.

San Francisco entered the offseason looking to improve the pass rush, which tied for No. 22 in the NFL last season.