John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan discuss the decision to draft Mike McGlinchey

Apr 26, 2018 at 9:38 PM--

John Lynch Opening Comments:

"Good evening. Just want to say that on behalf of the organization, we are extremely excited with what transpired here. [T] Mike McGlinchey is a guy that we've been excited about for some time. I would tell you that about a week ago, we go through the process, the scouts do all their homework, ongoing process that goes year long and goes into last year. Mike McGlinchey is a guy we scouted for a long time, but just kept gaining steam. The more we watched him, the more we liked him. I would tell you that throughout this process, we get the scouts, I explained the process the other day, the scouts come in, the coaches come in and every time [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and I just kept watching him, he just kept getting better and you go into the makeup of the kid, one of the smartest players in the draft, off the charts in terms of his presence. Our Combine interview, I was just looking at my notes upstairs, and one of the top interviews, just in terms of presence and makeup and it's a guy, two-time captain at Notre Dame, started 39 straight games. He's healthy. We felt like both in the short-term and in the long-term at a premium position, particularly when you've just invested in a quarterback and more so than that, just an important position in football, and you couple that with, take the position, who are the players that excite you most. This was a guy, and last week, we decided that if he's there at nine, he's the guy we're taking. We had other players that we had to prepare and we probably had a list of four. We were going to listen to some offers if McGlinchey wasn't there, but we had other guys in line. But, we're very pleased to have added Mike McGlinchey to our team."

How do you see him fit in your offense?

Kyle Shanahan: "Playing tackle. We'll start him out at right tackle here. He'll be competing, especially with [T] Trent [Brown] out until training camp. But, he can play either tackle. He can start in this league as a right tackle, left tackle, swing tackle. I'm sure he can help us at guard, too, if need be but I think he's capable of doing all of them except maybe center, he's too tall for [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo] to get that low. But, he's a good player."

I realize that Trent has the shoulder, but what is his status on this team? Have you talked to him about the addition of Mike?

KS: "Yeah, he's going to be healthy in training camp. I have not spoken with him. And his status on this team is that he's on our team. I'm glad we have some competition, some very good competition. I'm glad we were able to sign [OL Garry] Gilliam, too, to add some, and when Trent gets back here in training camp, I think it's going to be a heck of a battle and I think it's going to be a good problem for the 49ers to have."

No thought about trying to move him at this point?

JL: "I think the reality, you look at our tackle situation, you know, you have Trent whose contract is up after this year, you have [T] Joe [Staley] who in two seasons his contract is up and we believe both in the short-term and long-term, this was a wise decision. We're fired up. We really are. This is a guy we got excited about, as I said, every time we watched the film he just got better. Just made of the right stuff both on and off the field. Very proud to have him part of our organization."

You said if McGlinchey was there you were going to take him and not trade, but did you not take any trade calls? You have the quarterback there, obviously.

JL: "We fielded a bunch of calls. You know, this was an interesting, I've only done it two years, but there were a lot of calls but a lot of people hedging, 'Hey, we're going to call you around pick six and if our guy is still there, would you guys be interested in listening', and you know what we really wanted to do with everyone, we wanted to wait until that eighth pick, because like I said, if McGlinchey was there, we had decided earlier this week we weren't going to hesitate and we were going to go and fortunately he was."

Were you worried that McGlinchey would have gone right behind you?

JL: "A lot of ties to Chicago, his line coach from Notre Dame is at Chicago now. So, I think he was a guy that seemed like throughout the league, kept getting hotter as the draft drew nearer and so there was some concern. But, we were prepared for that, as well."

Looking at the landscape of the league, New York Giants T Nate Solder gets a big deal, it didn't seem like there were a ton of tackles in this class. How much does that play into your decision to use a premium pick on a guy like McGlinchey?

JL: "I think that's all true, but really our process, people say, what is your philosophy? Is it best player? Is it need? I think it's a combination of both. I said upstairs, we were just on the radio and I think a great lesson for me, it will scar me for life, really, is what happened in Philly last year. Trent was out, Staley breaks his face, Gilliam hurts his knee and we're playing [OL] Erik Magnuson, a guy who was a guard-center for us at right tackle and the kid was valiant in his effort. You get in those type of things, those affect you. And so, beyond that, you know, we didn't want to be beholden just to that. That's when you get in trouble, I think when you say, we have to come out of this draft with that position. We wanted to be, when you're picking top-10, I think you should be really excited about the player that you're drafting. We got to that point and he just was a guy who kept getting better, every time we watched him, every time the scouts watched him, every time the coaches watched him. You take all that into account and beyond that, we kind of think he's a game-changer in terms of the type of person he is, the presence he has. It all made it an easy choice for us."

Just to be clear, the plan is for him to be the starting right tackle as a rookie?

KS: "That's not the plan. Everyone's got to compete and earn that. You know, when you bring in a guy like this and you hope he does that, or you hope he brings our other guys to a higher level. There's always pressure on guys especially to come in right away. This is one person who can definitely handle it. I think you guys will be very impressed with him when you meet him tomorrow. But like I said earlier, I think it's a very good problem to have. He's going to come in and play tackle right away. Him and Gilliam will take those reps in OTAs and then when we get to training camp, we will throw Trent in that mix. I think we have some depth now and we have a lot of guys who are capable of being starters in this league. So, it's a good thing to have. We'll see how this final 53 works out, but I know our O-Line in a much better position now than it was a few hours ago."

Did the news from yesterday about LB Reuben foster and his ex-girlfriend, her statement, did that have any impact on this draft? Did you guys consider linebackers at that spot?

JL: "You know, we considered linebackers throughout this process because there were some very good ones in this draft. Ultimately, we came to the decision that McGlinchey was the guy we wanted, you know, at our spot. You know, I answered a bunch of questions the other day on Reuben and we're just going to leave it at that. But, McGlinchey was the guy ultimately we felt like was the right pick."

We haven't had a chance to ask you since the felonies were levied. It's your locker room, your players, what's your position on Reuben's status with the team? You can count in the recanting also, but what's your position on his stance with the team?

KS: "I think the way John worded it last week or earlier this week I think says the position for our whole organization. I know it does for me. I mean, anybody who, well we can promise you guys, if there's someone who ever hits their significant other, girlfriends, some person like that, that person is not going to be on our team. I feel strongly about that. I know John does. I know our ownership does. That's how we feel about it. Obviously, Reuben is on our team right now, so we're waiting to see how that goes. But, if that's something that we felt he did or ended up happening, you guys will see how we feel."

You mentioned it in your opening statement a little bit, but how important was it for you guys to lock up somebody who could protect that $137 million investment you guys made in Jimmy Garoppolo?

JL: "You know, I just think beyond that, and beyond our own circumstances, and signing Jimmy long-term, does that play into it? Of course it does, but that's just a premium position in this league. I mentioned what happened to us in Philly. Not a lot of great ones out there. God didn't create a bunch of great offensive tackles out there. They are limited. We think we found a guy who has an opportunity to be that, and when you combine his skill on the field, you know, we talk a lot about guys who represent what it takes to win games, to win championships. We feel like he's got a lot of that in him, both on and off the field in terms of the way he plays. He's a guy who, you know, off and on film, you keep the film many running after a play, and even though he's 6-8 and 310 pounds, he's running 30 yards downfield to pick up his running back. Those are things that speak to us. He consistently does his job over and over. It's not easy playing tackle in this league, so it's not going to be perfect, but we found a guy who we believe can do it well for a long time."

If Chicago Bears LB Roquan Smith's on the board, still clearly McGlinchey in your mind?

JL: "You know, that's a great football player, but Mike was the guy at nine. You know, you guys are probably saying, this guy is full of it because he said the same thing last year, but this was the guy we had decided at nine was the guy we weren't going to hesitate on."

Do you envision moving him to the left side in a few years or are you not thinking that far?

JL: "I think we are just thinking for the now and like Kyle said, line him up at right tackle right now. It's great, though, that a lot of times you're making projections. This is a guy we've seen play right tackle, we've seen play left tackle. The film is out there so we feel good about him at both spots."

You said this guy really impressed you in the interview. What impressed you?

JL: "Yeah, Kyle and I, just as a general philosophy, you didn't want to put too much stock in that because it's 15 minutes. I will say, however, like I said, doing this in two minutes, just in my life experience, there's some people who command a room and who own a room. Like I said, I think there were probably two guys that stood out from the pack. We have 60 interviews at the Combine and he was a guy that came in and just kind of owned the room and everyone felt it. It wasn't just me. Kyle felt that way. Our coaches that were in the room felt that way, our scouts in the room. He's got a special presence to him. He's real. He's authentic and he's a badass and we like that."

Did you check in with Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan at all, just with the family connections with him?

KS: "No, I didn't want to blow our cover. We haven't talked to Mike since the Combine, and I definitely would have checked in with Matt if we were worried about something. But, we felt very good about the guy and the person. I got a text right from Matt after we drafted him and I got to return a call here in a second, so I'll call him now. But trust me, I had to keep it a secret."

You said there's no contact really since the Combine. You didn't bring him in as a Top-30. Is that because you didn't want anyone to know you were on him?

JL: "Yeah, he was a guy, when it comes to those visits, you have different philosophies on how you utilize those 30. There was really no more questions in our mind in terms of, you know, his history, the feeling we had about him. He wasn't going to change much by bringing him in, so that was a guy we decided, 'Hey, let's lay under the radar.' We did that for good reason. And then I would tell you, from the Combine, you know, closer to the draft, our feelings for him only got stronger, so we're glad that we chose to not bring him in because I think that was a guy, you talk about a premium position, the players available, you know, I think both tackles, [Oakland Raiders T Kolton] Miller ended up getting hotter as the thing came near, as well. So, we just didn't want anything out there that he was the guy we were interested in."

Can you just give us the opinion of what you see on film, what excites you when you watch him? What does he do that fits your scheme?

KS: "I mean, good players fit our scheme. So, it's a lot simpler than people think. You know, in the perfect world for our run game, since we are running outside zone the majority of the time, we would love a guy who could run a little bit faster and chase people down, which helps in the run game. But, usually the run game starts with the guards and the center, and usually protections with the tackles and we wouldn't be throwing in the pocket from the inside, but as John said it's very hard to be a tackle in this league because you have to have a certain amount of ability. Lots of people are looking for tackles and they are very hard to find. We felt that we had an opportunity to get the best tackle in the draft and I think a lot of people in the league felt that way. When you're in that situation, a lot of people are desperate for him and that's why you have to keep it somewhat of a secret because people will jump you and take them because they are limited. So, you don't find many sleepers later in the draft when you're talking about that position. So, when you have one of those guys who is capable of doing it, when you have a guy who you think is capable of doing your run scheme, who can, blocking, the pass game is the pass game. Can you block the guy in front of you and not let him get to the quarterback, there's no different ways to do that. Every team does that the same. This guy can do that and he can do it at right tackle and he can do it at left tackle. To me what separates Mike from everyone else is the person you're getting. It always starts with the film, always, and he has that ability. He has that talent. But, the soldier again, how committed he is to football. His football character. He's an O-Lineman who has started 39 straight games. I'm sure he has some injuries, but we haven't seen it because he doesn't talk about them and he just plays. He's a guy who shows up every practice, every week and that's truly what we believe an O-Lineman should do. You can find some like that, but some of them aren't good enough. This guy has it all and that's what makes him not only just a safe pick but a very exciting pick because you're getting that talented of a guy. But, I think you guys will see tomorrow when you meet him, you're getting a rare person, too, which brings a different mentality on something that I think we would love to add to this building and love to add to what we're trying to build with the 49ers."

Following up on that, talking about the premium position, after Jimmy took over last year, quarterback hits, things like that came down. You were getting the ball out quick or moving it around. How do you weigh that in when you're talking about how premium the tackle position is?

KS: "I weigh it all in. Like there's no specific way to build a team. You take the things that are given to you, whether it's, you try to be aggressive when you have those right opportunities and not hesitate when you think something is good, whether it's free agency, whether it's the trade or whether it's the draft. But you're not, you're trying to build a team and you find the types of players who fit certain positions that you feel you need and then you try to get the right mentality and the makeup that adds to your team. You know, Mike fit exactly a need that we did have at tackle, but what made him even more special is he's a special type of character that we're looking for. He'll come in here and he'll fill a position for us for a long time, whether it's right tackle, whether it's left tackle, whatever it is, we know he's going to be able to do that. But, I think he brings a lot more to the table. I think he will only add to some of the strong personalities and good football character that we do have in that offensive line room and I think our teammates, when we see him in the building whenever he's allowed to come, a week from Monday, they will know not just from what we see on tape but they will know why we like this guy."

You now have a few starting caliber tackles. At some point would you be opening to trading Trent Brown?

JL: "You know, you never say never. Right now, we're pleased to have great competition at that spot. You know, like I said, experiences kind of shake you. Like I'll never forget that one. And then looking out there, and it's a helpless feeling. As I said, they don't make a whole lot of them. The ones that are out there are signed, so that was something Kyle and I talked about at the end of last year, we need to strengthen this position. We had an avenue to do that and we're very pleased that we have."

* Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers

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