Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


In Selecting Mike McGlinchey, the 49ers Look to the Future at Tackle, and the Future Could Be Now

Apr 26, 2018 at 7:16 PM0


With the ninth pick in the NFL draft, the 49ers selected Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame. With Josh Rosen, my favorite quarterback in the 2018 draft class, slipping to them, the 49ers elected not to trade back, selecting McGlinchey where they knew they could get him.

McGlinchey was widely regarded as the best offensive tackle in the draft, and the 49ers certainly did their homework on tackles, spending time with all of the top zone-blocking tackle prospects. It is now clear that the 49ers were looking to make a move at tackle with their eyes to the future, seeking a replacement for one of their talented veteran tackles. Unfortunately, the 49ers secured the best tackle in a poor draft for tackles.

While I agree that McGlinchey is the best tackle in this draft class, I have concerns about his ability to contribute right away, and I have long-term questions about his ability to replace Joe Staley at left tackle. I believe that McGlinchey must get stronger to anchor against the bull rush, as his 6'7" frame already made it difficult to maintain leverage against college ends. He also has slightly heavy feet, which could be exposed against speed rushers. This leads me to believe that he would fit best at right tackle for the moment.

McGlinchey's arrival likely signals the end of Trent Brown's time with the 49ers. The 49ers did not draft him with the ninth pick to sit him all year, and it is unlikely he can fold his lanky frame to fit into a guard's role. Brown is an elite pass protector, but he has always struggled on the backside of zone runs, a staple in Kyle Shanahan's offense. McGlinchey excels as a run blocker. He employs terrific technique, long arms, and active feet to reach blocks at all levels and stick to those blocks through the whistle. Shanahan likely believes in his ability to scheme pass plays that look similar to his run plays, which will assist McGlinchey in gaining an early advantage against opponents on pass plays.

I expect that the 49ers will attempt to trade Brown, who could draw significant interest from teams who run a gap blocking scheme. While Brown has struggled significantly as a zone blocker, his bulk and length make him an imposing road-grader as a down blocking gap scheme tackle. If the 49ers can secure a day two pick for Brown, the McGlinchey pick looks to gain value.

To make this pick a home run, McGlinchey will need to develop greater foot speed to contend on the left side after Staley retires. Staley has never been shy about helping bring young offensive linemen along, so McGlinchey could not hope for a better mentor.

Poll

  • How do yo u feel about the 49ers selection of Mike McGlinchey?
  • It makes sense. Smart football isn't always sexy football; I like it.
    63%
  • Uhhhhhhh... I mean... okay...
    20%
  • WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Let's GOOOOOOOO!!!
    8%
  • What day does the 2019 draft start on?
    5%
  • Burn it all down. Burn me with it. Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrn.
    3%
  • 810 votes
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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