Last Thursday, new 49ers General Manager John Lynch found a way to make six trades in the NFL Draft. …The team acquired second and third round picks in the 2018 draft and the team still added 10 new players this year, overhauling a roster that won just 7 of 32 games over the last two seasons.
It was an impressive shake-up, considering what the team's roster looked like before the draft. The 49ers went defense with their two first round picks after that unit ranked dead last in the NFL in 2016.
5Dimes will definitely offer valuable odds for them, make sure to review them before placing a bet. Let's grade the first round picks of the 49ers and preview how these players can help the team in the regular season.
Round 1 (Third Pick) - Solomon Thomas, DL (Stanford)
Solomon Thomas was considered one of the best defensive prospects in the 2017 NFL Draft and it didn't surprise me that the 49ers picked him No. 3 overall, as General Manager John Lynch took a class with him at Stanford in 2014. Thomas should make an immediate impact on the San Francisco defensive line. The reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year led Stanford with 62 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and eight sacks last season.
Finding players who are able to pressure the quarterback is hard, which gives them a lot of value in today's NFL. That skill set is the reason why Thomas became the first non-quarterback from Stanford to be a top five pick in the modern draft era.
Thomas is strong and versatile, he can play anywhere on the defensive line and his athleticism is second to none when compared to players in this year's draft.
This pass rusher from Stanford has the physical gifts needed to be great at the professional level. The only potential issue with this pick is that San Francisco already has defensive linemen in similar roles and the team has more pressing needs in the secondary. That being said, it's hard to give up the chance to add a player with Thomas' attributes and he will make this defense better from day one.
Round 1 (31st Pick) - Reuben Foster, LB (Alabama)
You don't find inside linebackers with potential to be impact playmakers easily, so the 49ers had to take a chance with former Alabama standout Reuben Foster. The team traded up to select him with the 31st pick and it is a decision that could pay off for them in the near future.
Foster, a former five-star recruit, saw his stock surge with an amazing 2016 season in which his leadership with the Crimson Tide was one of the reasons behind the level of play of that unit. The Alabama defense ranked first against the run, in total yardage and scoring and Foster had a big part on that. The linebacker had 115 tackles, (13 for loss), five sacks and two passes defended.
Foster was also a force against the run, imposing fear on opposing ball-carriers, helping Alabama achieve an historic season as far and defensive dominance.
There's no doubt that this linebacker is among the most talented players in the 2017 draft class, he is aggressive and athletic but the list of concerns regarding his off-field behavior grew over the last two months, which is why he wasn't picked earlier. Still, if Foster is healthy and the off- field concerns are minimized, he will prove to be a quality addition for a 49ers defense that really needs his talent.
General Manager John Lynch offered support to Foster despite all the questions about his character and if his gamble is right, he would have taken a player that years from now can be considered one of the steals of this draft.