The 49ers selected OT Brandon Thomas with pick No. 100 in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft. Thomas tore his ACL during a pre draft drill when visiting the New Orleans Saints. The 49ers will put Thomas on IR and redshirt him in the 2014 season.
|40 Time: 4.78
Thomas was a four-star recruit out of high school and stayed in state, choosing Clemson over South Carolina. He redshirted in 2009 and was a backup in 2010 before earning a starting role at left guard. He started every game at left tackle, protecting Tajh Boyd’s blindside and earning first-team All-ACC honors in 2012 and ’13. Has versatility and experience as a three-starter and senior captain — 36 career starts (27 left tackle, 9 left guard) with playing time at right tackle.
When he stays balanced and patient, Thomas often excels, but doesn’t do that consistently. He showed much improved hand placement as a senior and cut down on the mistakes. He stayed alert through the whistle and he needed to at Clemson with Boyd often scrambling. Thomas has the length to smarts to stay at tackle, but he also struggles vs. speed rushers and is a much better option inside at guard.
Has good size with long arms. Effectively combo blocks with his mobility and looks natural blocking on the move. Uses proper hand use with a strong initial punch and flashes power at the point of attack to latch and drive. Stronger than he looks. Uses wingspan to slow rushers in pass protection and bury defenders in the run game. Uses angles well and has heady, veteran awareness. Good motor and fights through the whistle.
Average-at-best height and body type. Average kickslide quickness to protect the edge with choppy footwork. Too mechanical in his movements. Late out of his stance too often and needs to show consistent snap anticipation. Needs to bend consistently at his knees, often hunched over at his waist. Looks uncomfortable in space or when asked to cover a large area. Average upper-body strength. Rushers get to his body too easily. Struggles to recoil when initial punch misses.