From my favorite college football team with the 9th-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the 49ers took a 6’8″, 309 LBS. offensive tackle — Mike McGlinchey. This was the first time in the past six years the 49ers used their first pick on an offensive player.
While McGlinchey was considered the top offensive tackle in the draft, the pick was met with some questioning why the 49ers used their first overall pick to draft to sure up their offensive line. For me, the pick reminded me of Sandra Bullock’s line in the infamous blind side movie:
“The first check you write is for your mortgage, but the second is for the insurance.”
With $137.5M invested in QB Jimmy Garoppolo, that is an investment the 49ers absolutely need to protect, and McGlinchey definitely has the experience and ability to protect the franchise quarterback while giving him the time he needs in the pocket.
McGlinchey, was a two-time captain and a clear stand-out while at Notre Dame — earning many honors such as the 2017 Associated Press Second-Team All-American and receiving a first-round grade in the NFL Draft evaluation. Even with such honors, McGlinchey decided to forego the draft and remain at Notre Dame for one final season. When asked about his decision, he noted his understanding of his need for improvement and his desire to obtain such that.
“I didn’t feel I was ready for the NFL, I have a lot of room for improvement and should do that before trying to make a career out of it,” McGlinchey said.
That decision proved to be a smart one, as it gave him the additional time he needed to work through his struggles with the transition from right to left tackle. He started 13 games with Notre Dame at right tackle before making the switch to left tackle his junior season. His experience at both positions speaks to his versatility, which is always a definite plus in a lineman.
Statements from the 49ers’ front office suggest McGlinchey will be expected to step into the right tackle position, in place of Trent Brown (who was traded to NE shortly after the 49ers drafted McGlinchey) and stay there until our much-valued Joe Staley retires. For Staley’s part, it seems he has welcomed his mentor role. Staley was recently quoted as saying:
“He’s my little brother!”
The two were even spotted recently cheering on the Warriors at Game 3. You have to respect a well-known, valued player who is willing to take a rookie and prepare him to take his position one day. Also, at the 49ers’ State of the Franchise event a couple weeks back, Staley reiterated how he’s always wanted a little brother, and that’s what he now has in McGlinchey.
“He’s got a special presence to him. He’s real. He’s authentic and he’s a bad ass.” – GM John Lynch’s thoughts on McGlinchey.
When the General Manager refers to you as a “bad ass” sounds to me we just drafted the ideal insurance policy! Look for McGlinchey to not only come in and start day 1, but be a staple in this offense for years to come.