The 49ers surprised the league when they selected Mike McGlinchey 9th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. He may have went higher than what most expected, but McGlinchey’s selection made sense for the 49ers, especially after signing their franchise signal caller Jimmy Garoppolo to a lucrative five year contract.
Mike McGlinchey replaced Trent Brown as the starting right tackle, who departed in a trade to the New England Patrioits. Entering training camp, head coach Kyle Shanahan named McGlinchey the starter to begin the regular season, playing opposite to starting left tackle Joe Staley.
McGlinchey has been impressive in his rookie season and the experts are taking notice. The 49ers are one of only five teams that are averaging at least 133 yards rushing per game and McGlinchey’s performance is a big reason why. Pro Football Focus rates him as one of the top-graded rookie offensive lineman and have consistently rated him one of the best run-blocking lineman in the league. McGlinchey enjoys the attention, but he won’t let that distract him.
Back in November McGlinchey joined “Murph & Mac” on KNBR and spoke about his recent accomplishments… “”I know when I’ve played well and when I haven’t played well and things that I need to improve on. I’m not sure what they do to do that. Obviously, it’s nice to see that people are complimenting you, but you can’t buy too much stock in it because it will just get you tripped up in the long run.”
It may be too early to tell if McGlinchey is the real deal or not, but certainly it’s been a positive sight seeing him and long time veteran tackle Joe Staley hiting it off. On his 39th birthday head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked how important Joe Staley has been to McGlinchey’s development…
“I think it’s been great because Mike does look up to him, I think. You’d have to ask him. They hang together. They bounce a lot of things off each other. I think it’s neat for the other reasons, too. You’ve got a young tackle. I think they compete with each other. They mess with each other a lot. It’s been a good back and forth where I think they both bring the best out of each other.”
The offensive line has been solid in recent weeks thanks to Staley and McGlinchey’s new found comradely. Against the Denver Broncos, the 49ers offensive line played well enough to win, but still have plenty of room for improvement. At this point in his career, there’s no telling where McGlinchey’s ceiling is set, but so far the young rookie is making his mark.
With his maturity and athleticism, McGlinchey has proven that he has what it takes to be a valuable corner stone in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. The experience he gathers in these final weeks of the season will be invaluable to that end. Eventually he will succeed his mentor, but until then McGlinchey and Staley make great bookends to an otherwise lost season.
- ^Shook, Nick (April 27, 2018). “Niners take Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey at No. 9”. NFL.com. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
- ^”Ourlads.com: San Francisco 49ers Depth Chart: 09/01/2018″. Ourlads.com. Retrieved December 14, 2018.