Thomas a candidate to "red shirt"

The 49ers used their last pick of Day 2 of the draft to take offensive lineman Brandon Thomas of Clemson. General Manager Trent Baalke said Thomas is likely to spend his first pro season rehabbing his torn ACL.

It didn't come as much of a surprise when the 49ers' used the final pick of Day 2 of the draft on offensive lineman Brandon Thomas.


Because Thomas tore his ACL during a private workout for the Saints in April. The team has shown a penchant for drafting players lower than they would have gone if healthy over the last two drafts.

Thomas, the Clemson product, will follow the same path Tank Carradine and Marcus Lattimore traveled in their rookie seasons of 2013 with San Francisco. Carradine was viewed as a first-round talent taken in the second round. Lattimore was slated to be the first running back taken, but fell to the fourth.

"We really had him valued high. He was the highest player on our board once again when we made the pick and it the value was just too high to pass up," Trent Baalke said. "He's a guy that's going to come in here and rehab, most likely red shirt just like Marcus did a year ago."

Through three rounds, the 49ers have used two of their five picks on interior offensive lineman. Both Thomas and fellow third rounder Marcus Martin project as starters at some point over the next two seasons.

With Mike Iupati expected to leave via free agency next spring, Thomas is the leading candidate to become the team's starting left guard in 2015. But the team also has Joe Looney, Daniel Kilgore and Jonathan Martin in that mix. Thomas also spent time at Clemson playing left tackle, adding to his value.

Thomas was a two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection with the Tigers.


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