Over the last couple of years, the 49ers have had extra draft picks picks gleaned from trades or the compensatory system and they’ve used that largesse to take players recovering from serious injuries in the hope that they can recover in time to help in their second seasons and beyond.
Offensive lineman Brandon Thomas was this year’s prime redshirt candidate and remains so after signing his four-year rookie deal on Friday.
Thomas, who played left tackle at Clemson and is expected to move inside as a pro, tore his ACL during a pre-draft workout and is likely to miss the entire season as he recovers from the injury. That shouldn’t be much of a problem for the 49ers, though.
The 49ers have starting guards Mike Iupati and Alex Boone back along with veteran reserve Adam Snyder this season. Iupati is set to be a free agent after the season, however, and Thomas could be a candidate to replace him if he moves on.