The No. 3 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft Solomon Thomas had a lot of time on his hands last season. Thomas spent most of the season rehabbing his torn ACL he suffered Week 2 against the New York Jets. With the free time he had, he spent a great deal of it on his couch, watching the Las Vegas Raiders.
"I've known the history of Coach [Rod] Marinelli as well and seen the way he plays guys," said Solomon Thomas in his first press conference as a Las Vegas Raider. "I was just hoping I might get the chance to negotiate with them, and it all ended up working out."
Thomas will have the opportunity to join an evolving defensive line that just also signed Yannick Ngakoue and Quinton Jefferson. He is also excited to get to work with the young, growing pieces the Raiders defensive line already possesses. Despite being near the bottom of the league in sacks and quarterback pressures the previous season, Thomas recognized that something special is brewing upfront.
"I can definitely see the talents there, the tenacity, the effort is there. Guys who want to be here are there and guys who can make it happen are there. This D-line has a potential that is the sky. I'm excited to play with them. A lot of guys who are hungry want to play, and it's going to be a fun year."
Thomas, the former San Francisco 49er, is leaving the NFL team that drafted him with lofty expectations and will be coming to the desert for a second start. The defensive end has shown great promise since entering the league, however, injuries and scheme issues have prevented him from being the player many thought he'd be coming out of Stanford University.
Thomas started in 30 games in his four seasons as a 49er, totaling 95 tackles (73 solo), including 16 for loss, six sacks, and one fumble recovery. In three postseason appearances, he has recorded four tackles, one sack and assisted the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance in 2020. Despite having four seasons already under his belt, Thomas is confident that he's only just getting started.
"I wouldn't change anything that happened the past four years. They didn't go how I wanted to, but I've learned about myself, I've grown, I've matured. I've come to the complete person I am today. I've come to the complete player I am today. I believe in myself more now than I ever have and I truly believe my career is just now starting.
"I'm ready to go and I'm ready to prove the greatness of Solomon Thomas and what's about to come."
Take a look at action photos of new Raiders defensive tackle Solomon Thomas. Over his four-year career, Thomas has appeared in 48 contests, totaling 95 tackles, including 16 for loss, six sacks and one fumble recovery.