SANTA CLARA -- Even though the 49ers have made significant additions to their defensive line, general manager John Lynch squashed the trade rumors regarding defensive lineman Solomon Thomas on Thursday night.
“That's not accurate,” Lynch said after the close of the first day of the draft. “We usually don't respond to every one of these rumors that happens in today's world.”
Lynch did, however, think it was necessary to have a conversation with the first player he drafted as a general manager of the club.
“I had Solly up in my office today, and we just talked exactly where he is,” Lynch said. “And he's a big part of our team right now that we're extremely excited about moving forward with him. That's where we're at with Solly.”
Coach Kyle Shanahan explained that both Thomas and fellow defensive lineman Arik Armstead are in similar situations. The addition of edge rushers Dee Ford and Nick Bosa will allow them to do what they do best, rushing the passer from the inside and stopping the run.
"It's sometimes hard to put Solly and Armstead inside when they're better than the guys on the outside,” Shanahan said. “So that's kind of been the tough thing for us over these couple years, and the two things that we've done, one in free agency and one today, makes that a lot easier, and something that just as a coaching staff, and I know our players will be extremely excited about.”
Lynch elaborated on Shanahan’s statement noting that having an overabundance of defensive linemen is a problem they are very happy to have.
“Kyle just mentioned, you put this puzzle together, and we want to be a group that stays fresh, that can close out halves, can close out third downs, can close out games,” Lynch said. “And I think our players last longer if there's a lot of them, and we feel like we, as I mentioned, have a lot of quality players, and Solly is a big part of that, so we're excited about Solly.”
Shanahan explained that having both Thomas and Armstead next to DeForest Buckner is going to create a lot of problems for opposing offenses.
“Both of those guys if you can put them in the most ideal spot for them possible, when you know the quarterback is throwing third-and-10, two-minute, whatever it is, you'd rather put them inside, which is also where Buck would always rather be,” Shanahan said. “To have three guys in there so you can have a three-man rotation at two positions to where you have guys on the outside.”
Shanahan explained the problem with putting those three players on the inside in the past, was not having the same caliber of players on the outside.
“It's sometimes hard to put Solly and Armstead inside when they're better than the guys on the outside,” Shanahan said. “So that's kind of been the tough thing for us over these couple years, and the two things that we've done, one in free agency and one today, makes that a lot easier, and something that just as a coaching staff, and I know our players will be extremely excited about.”
When Lynch was directly asked if he saw Thomas as part of the 49ers in 2019 he answered with a resounding, “Absolutely.”