Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Two 49ers players named to ESPN’s All-Rookie Team

Jan 14, 2019 at 9:08 AM--

San Francisco 49ers tackle Mike McGlinchey was one of the best rookie offensive linemen in the NFL this past season. ESPN last week named him the NFC West Rookie of the Year and has now placed him on its 2018 All-Rookie Team.

"McGlinchey plays with efficiency and power, as he was penalized just three times all season, and two of those were false starts; he was not flagged for holding," wrote Jeff Legwold of ESPN.

McGlinchey, whom San Francisco envisions eventually taking over at left tackle once veteran Joe Staley's time with the team is over, ranked as the second-highest graded run blocker among NFL tackles and fourth among all offensive linemen across the league, according to Pro Football Focus. His 73.2 overall Pro Football Focus grade in 2018 ranked second among all rookie offensive lineman and was bested only by his former Fighting Irish teammate, Quenton Nelson of the Indianapolis Colts, who was also named to ESPN's all-rookie team.

"There's definitely some things that I did well this season that I will take and continue to try to improve on," McGlinchey told reporters on December 31. "There's things I didn't do well this season that I need to get corrected and need to take a huge step forward in year two."

McGlinchey is currently enjoying some time at home in Philadelphia with family but plans to join Staley in late-February to begin training in San Diego for the offseason.

McGlinchey wasn't the only 49ers player named to the All-Rookie Team. Wide receiver Richie James made it as a return specialist on special teams.

"The Chiefs' Tremon Smith had a high-quality debut as a kickoff returner, but James' versatility proved the difference," wrote Legwold. "James returned both punts and kickoffs, and he had one of four kickoff returns for touchdowns of more than 90 yards this season."

That touchdown on special teams came on a 97-yard kickoff return during the 49ers' 26-23 overtime victory against the Seattle Seahawks during Week 15.

The 49ers made James a seventh-round draft pick out of Middle Tennessee State last April. While the majority of his playing time came as a returner, he also registered nine receptions for 130 yards with one touchdown through 13 games and two starts at wide receiver.

Linebacker Fred Warner and safety D.J. Reed received honorable mentions on ESPN's All-Rookie Team.

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