The San Francisco 49ers came into the 2018 NFL Draft as an up and coming team that had a shot at a playoff run. And picking in the top 10 all but guaranteed them a high profile player.

Would they go pass rush and try to take a shot at now Denver Bronco Bradley Chubb? Would they take the emerging star in Los Angeles Chargers defensive back Derwin James? The possibilities were almost endless and the fans were excited to get 2018 underway.

Well, the 49ers surprised a lot of people and took Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey. I'll even say myself that at first reaction, I was a little disappointed. I thought there were some "flashier" players they could have taken. But as the days went on and I evaluated the roster, the pick made a lot of sense.

Perennial Pro Bowl tackle and 12-year veteran, Joe Staley, is nearing the end of his career and left tackle Trent Brown was coming off the injured reserve list after having surgery on his shoulder. Not to mention that Brown wasn't a fit for head coach Kyle Shanahan's system, which was confirmed a day later when the 49ers traded Brown to the New England Patriots.
It was safe to say that at that point, the tackle position was a big need.

We are now six games into 2018 and it appears that the 49ers have hit a grand slam on McGlinchey. McGlinchey's name isn't one that's been mentioned a lot on game day and for good reason. He is doing his job and he's doing it very well.

When it comes to offensive lineman, no news is good news. When linemen's names start to come up it's generally because of what they have been doing wrong. They give up sacks, miss key blocks in the run game, excess penalties, etc. Rarely are they talked about when they are doing what they are supposed to.

McGlinchey has already established himself as a top tackle in the NFL. Pro Football Focus has graded McGlinchey as the 10th best tackle in overall grades and as the best run blocking tackle in football as of Week 5.


McGlinchey is also the top graded rookie lineman in 2018 through Week 5.


It's plays like the one below that show McGlinchey's raw strength and his ability to take on pass rushers. Chargers DE Melvin Ingram is a solid player and this doesn't happen very often, let alone by a rookie. McGlinchey makes statements like this weekly.


In a season that started out with high hopes and has nearly hit rock bottom before the halfway point, McGlinchey has been outstanding. He is proving he can be a key piece for the 49ers for years to come.

It may have not been the "flashy" pick that the fans wanted but, it's currently proving it may have been the best option. McGlinchey has All-Pro potential and will eventually take over Staley's spot to protect franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

In year two of a full roster rebuild, selecting a tackle that could lock down one side of the line for the next decade at an elite level was the right move.