Breaking news:Stanford defensive tackle will sign with 49ers
Stanford defensive tackle Solomon Thomas is projected to the 49ers at No. 2 overall in several mock drafts because he’d bolster a still-suspect defensive unit. Remember, the 49ers allowed their most rushing yards and touchdowns in franchise history last season.
That said, the 49ers have more desperate needs at other spots rather than thrust Thomas, a tweener who can play inside and outside, into their defensive line’s rotation.
Also, can you really see the 49ers selling to their frustrated fans that they’ve spent their top draft pick on a defensive linemen for the third straight year? If so, John Lynch, the TV analyst-turned-GM, might be compared (again) to Matt Millen, the TV analyst-turned-GM who drafted first-round receivers three straight years in his doomed Detroit Lions tenure.
Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner, the 6-foot-7 tandem from Oregon, are versatile enough to still pay dividends as the 49ers’ 2015 and ’16 top picks. They’ll produce best as defensive ends, and Buckner really could be at the forefront of a dynamic career.
Earl Mitchell, Lynch’s first free agency acquisition, arrives via Houston and Miami to help solidify the line’s interior and serve as a much-needed veteran leader.
Quinton Dial shouldn’t be forgotten as he welcomes in a new scheme that might make better use of his power. Tank Carradine, a second-round bust to this point, enters his fifth year with a solid chance to recapture his defensive-end prowess from Florida State.
More reinforcement will be needed in the draft to challenge backups Chris Jones, Ronald Blair, Mike Purcell and Zach Miller.