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Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay Mock Solomon Thomas to 49ers

Take a look at some of the names being associated with San Francisco's second-overall pick.

If you didn't know Solomon Thomas' name during the college football season, you certainly are familiar with it by now. The Stanford pass-rusher has garnered plenty of attention over the past few weeks and his stock is skyrocketing ahead of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Thomas posted 8.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss in 2016. He's now a popular choice to join the San Francisco 49ers in several mock drafts. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay are two experts who believe the 49ers will land Thomas with the No. 2 overall pick.

"I thought he had a heck of a year," Kiper said in a recent conference call. "There were several games where he was a dominant player. He's a great kid and a phenomenal talent. This would be the third straight year that they're drafting a defensive lineman high, which is a little bothersome, but I think Solomon Thomas gives you more versatility than the other two."

McShay was impressed by Thomas' workout at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine. The defensive lineman prospect blew scouts away with 30 reps on the bench press, a 35-inch vertical jump, a 126-inch broad jump, 6.95-second three-cone drill and 4.28-second 20-yard shuttle.

"I've had him in the top 10 since I watched his tape," McShay said on a separate conference call. "I haven't really moved much on him. I think he had a good workout at the combine, which helped solidify him. It was maybe even better than what some people expected. Those were elite results, especially for someone at 273 pounds. I think it confirmed what you see on tape, especially in terms of lower-body explosiveness and change of direction.

"I think he'll continue to get better with his hands. I just think he's got freakish ability. What he can do in terms of disruption and the versatility to play multiple spots, those are a few of the reasons why Thomas is on the verge of being a top five pick."

Possibly the biggest factor is Thomas' rise up draft boards was his overwhelming performance in the Sun Bowl against North Carolina. Thomas controlled the line of scrimmage and was in the face of top quarterback prospect Mitchell Trubisky throughout the contest.

"If you look at that North Carolina game, that made him a lot of money," Kiper said. "The game he had in that Sun Bowl against Mitch Trubisky and North Carolina, I think moved him from the ninth pick in the first round to Cincinnati, all the way to the second overall pick."

Added McShay: "If you're looking for one game to draft a player on, which is never a good idea, but that North Carolina bowl game was something else. I don't think I saw an individual dominate a game on the defensive side as much as Thomas dominated in that one game." 

We'll find out if the 49ers opt to select Thomas when the first round begins on April 27 in Philadelphia.

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