Niners select Solomon Thomas with third pick


The 49ers are building a monstrous defensive line for new coordinator Robert Saleh.

After trading down one spot with Chicago, San Francisco selected Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

The 49ers also collected picks Nos. 67 and 111 in this year's draft as well as the Bears' third-round pick in 2018.

This marks the third consecutive year in which San Francisco has chosen a Pac-12 defensive lineman in the first round. The past two drafts brought Oregon defensive tackles Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner.

How well does new 49ers general manager John Lynch know Thomas? The two were in the same Management Science and Engineering class during Thomas' freshman year. In fact, Lynch and Thomas worked together on a project, according to The MMQB.

A versatile lineman, Thomas has received high marks for his effort, lateral range and explosive first step.

"He's a little bigger and probably more explosive than (Eagles pass rusher) Brandon Graham," one scout told Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "He's not Aaron Donald but he's like that."

Lynch is off to a sterling start in San Francisco, adding an impact player to his defensive front seven while picking up a trio of draft picks to bolster a relatively barren roster.