There has been a lot of anticipation surrounding San Francisco 49ers rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas. Thomas entered the 2017 NFL Draft as one of the most highly sought after prospects and was ranked amongst the top defenders in this year's draft class.
Training camp will be Thomas' debut with the team since NFL rules prohibited him from joining the 49ers offseason program until the last day of Stanford's final exams. Thomas' absence from full-team workouts hasn't limited expectations going into his rooke season.
NFL media analyst Bucky Brooks gave his defensive projections on 11 notable rookies, and Thomas happened to be one of them.
Take a look at Brooks' forecast on the third-overall pick:
Best-case scenario: Thomas has the tools to be one of the best pass rushers in this class, as a crafty quarterback hunter with cat-like quickness and violent hands. The No. 3 overall pick quickly finds his groove as a versatile edge defender on a defense that shows plenty of promise with a host of young, athletic players along the front line.
Worst-case scenario: The NFL's antiquated rule preventing Thomas from participating in summer workouts puts the rookie behind the eight ball heading into the season. Without a great feel for where he fits in the 49ers' scheme, Thomas could spend the first half of the season acclimating to the pro game before settling in as one of the team's top young playmakers.
Projected stats: 40 tackles, seven sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Not a bad "worst-case scenario."
Brooks' evaluation is consistent with what many draft analysts said about Thomas ahead of the draft: He's a player with a very high floor, even as a rookie. That's not something many teams can say about their first-year players.
To read more on Brooks' rookie forecast, visit NFL.com.