Las Vegas Raiders: 5 former first-round picks that must reach their potential in 2021
3. Solomon Thomas
During the 2017 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas with the No. 3 overall pick. Expected to come in and help turn the franchise around, Thomas never really got off to the start to the career the franchise wanted him to, as he battled through injuries and inconsistent play.
Last season, Thomas tore his ACL early on, sitting out most of the 2020 campaign, and because the 49ers had declined his fifth-year option before the season began, he became a free agent in 2021. The Raiders are hoping to get the player the 49ers saw when they made him the No. 3 overall pick, because defensive tackle needs help, and Thomas has the size and athleticism to thrive in Gus Bradley system.
Thomas may not have been a first-round pick of the Raiders, but he is going to be expected to play like one in the Silver and Black. If he can reach his potential, and be the player the San Francisco 49ers thought he would be, then the Raiders have found themselves a gem.