Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports


2018 NFL Draft: 49ers make a smart, forward-thinking selection in Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey

Al Sacco
Apr 27, 2018 at 7:41 AM0


The San Francisco 49ers made a somewhat surprising selection in the first-round of 2018 NFL Draft, taking Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey ninth overall. The reason the pick caught some off guard was that the Niners seemed to have more pressing needs elsewhere (specifically on the defensive side of the ball) and there were still impact players on the board that would have alleviated those issues on the roster. If you look a little deeper though, you'd see that San Francisco made a forward-thinking move that filled a hole before it became a major problem.

The real buzz surrounding McGlinchey started earlier in the week when Peter King of Sports Illustrated wrote that the 49ers were giving serious consideration to the offensive lineman. As the days went on, the whispers started to get a little louder, and people I spoke to throughout the week confirmed that McGlinchey was indeed a name to keep an eye on come draft night. But why would John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan want a tackle when they already have two good ones on the roster? The explanation is simple.

LT Joe Staley is coming off a strong 2017 campaign, but he'll be 34-years old when the new season starts. As good as Staley is, Father Time will catch up with him sooner or later, and it's hard to imagine the veteran playing past 2019 (which is when his current contract expires). Looking over at the right side, Trent Brown is a talented pass blocker and excelled in that department last year. But let's be honest, he has red flags, and there was zero chance of the 49ers paying him when his deal expires after this upcoming season. The issues with Brown seem to stem from his conditioning (he reportedly showed up to the team's offseason program out of shape) and his struggles in the run game. Combine that with the fact that he's still recovering from shoulder surgery, and you had a player who would have been moving on sooner rather than later.

So with Staley aging and Brown not a part of the plans moving forward, getting a legitimate offensive tackle should have been a priority. Now, McGlinchey will plug into the starting lineup opposite Staley, with the hopes that he can become the primary left tackle in a year or two. It's a smart move, and shows a commitment to protecting the team's most important investment, QB Jimmy Garoppolo. McGlinchey will join C Weston Richburg as centerpieces of an offensive line that will be tasked with keeping Garoppolo upright for the next five-plus years. Is there anything more important than keeping your franchise quarterback healthy?

As far as McGlinchey the player, it's easy to see why Shanahan coveted him. McGlinchey is smart, athletic, and fits the mold of what the coach is looking for in an offensive lineman. His size (6'7, 309 lbs) and arm length (34 inches) are ideal, although detractors will say he needs to add more strength. Even if the latter is an issue, you'd have to think an NFL strength and conditioning program could fix the problem.

A final note that can't be understated in all of this is the impact the newest 49er could have in the locker room. A two-time captain at Notre Dame, McGlinchey should evolve to be one of the leaders of a young team that's still growing into itself. That's especially important with Staley in the twilight of his career.

Al Sacco is the Senior Writer for 49ers Webzone and has had his work used by national outlets such as ESPN and USA TODAY. In addition to his writing duties, Al is also the co-host of the No Huddle podcast. If you'd like to reach Al with a media request, please contact him via Twitter @AlSacco49 or at [email protected].
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



PFF identifies Clemson RB Travis Etienne as a forward-thinking draft fit for 49ers

By David Bonilla
Mar 31, 2021

Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus went through all 32 NFL teams and tried to look one or two years in the future to project areas of need for each. Maybe a certain position group is considered among the team's strengths now, but will that be the case down the road? He then tried to find a good draft prospect—at a good value—to fill that potential need. "The respective prospect pairings for those teams all stand out as good value for where they would be selected," wrote Linsey, "and their selection would serve as a preventative measure to maintain strength at that position for years to come." For the San Francisco 49ers, it was the running



Former NFL QB explains why criticisms of Justin Fields, potential 49ers draft pick, are 'bogus'

By David Bonilla
Apr 7, 2021

No one is questioning Justin Fields' athleticism. Some question the former Ohio State quarterback's ability to transition from the college game to the pros quickly. Mark Sanchez recently joined The Pat McAfee Show and explained why Fields' ability to learn an NFL playbook might not take as long as some might be anticipating. Maybe all of his skeptics, who want to find ways to bring the quarterback down, are wrong. "For Justin, this guy, Dr. Goldman, he's a sports psychologist; I talked to him yesterday," Sanchez said (h/t to Jordan Cohn of 95.7 The Game). "He has some interesting



Buy Official 2021 49ers NFL Draft Caps and Gear

By Site Staff
Apr 9, 2021

You can now purchase the official San Francisco 49ers hats, shirts, and sweatshirts of the 2021 NFL Draft from the team's official online store. This is the gear that the NFL Draft selections themselves will be wearing when they hear their names called starting on April 29. Click here to shop the 49ers' official 2021 NFL Draft gear. 🚨2021 NFL Draft Caps and Gear🚨The official 2021 #49ers NFL



Zierlein on 49ers' draft plans: 'I think it's going to be Trey Lance'

By David Bonilla
Mar 28, 2021

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has his eyes on someone who he feels can be his quarterback of the future. Someone who can exceed the abilities of his current starter, Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers shocked the NFL world by trading up to the No. 3 spot in the upcoming draft, which starts in a month. NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein joined the Jake Atman Show this week and shared his insight into the decision to trade up (h/t to Patrick Tulini). San Francisco's comments that Garoppolo remains in the team's plans for at least the upcoming season offers a big hint to Zierlein regarding the 49ers' draft


Featured

More by Al Sacco

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone