Mike McGlinchey is many things: Beast. Committed. Workaholic. One thing he wasn’t? Due to a couple factors, McGlinchey was not considered the top rookie, or even top rookie offensive lineman, of the 2018 draft class. While his efforts were recognized with NFC West Rookie of the Year honors and PFF grading him as one of the top rookies in the league, it still wasn’t enough. He has made it abundantly clear that he wasn’t satisfied with how he played this year, and Colts star rookie Quenton Nelson was widely considered a better player by most this last year. Part of that is because while Nelson’s Colts made the playoffs and had a successful offense all season, the 49ers struggled as a team, therefore pushing McGlinchey’s efforts further down the drain in the eyes of “experts” and analysts around the league. McGlinchey is looking to change that perception, and make it known that he is clearly the number one young offensive lineman in the league.
Last season, it became quickly apparent that the 49ers had made the correct choice with the number 9 pick in the 2018 draft. Yes, offensive line is a boring selection, and because of that, many fans, myself included (I get swept up in the hype of skill players too, okay?!), were not overly happy with the pick. Joe Staley, one of the best offensive lineman in the league for the last 8 years or so, took an immediate liking to the young McGlinchey, and they were fast friends. This bodes well for McGlinchey for the 2019 season, as he will now have an entire offseason of learning from Joe Staley, who understands at this point that McGlinchey is going to be replacing him as the main cog at the line for San Francisco whenever Staley decides to hang up his cleats. While Staley was mentoring McGlinchey last offseason as well, they have a full year of comfort and understanding, and McGlinchey will no doubt be much improved from last season. On top of that, he will be blocking for a (fingers crossed) healthy QB in Jimmy Garopollo, and two healthy runningbacks in Matt Breida and Jerick Mckinnon, and the team as a whole should be much improved.
McGlinchey WILL overtake Quenton Nelson next year as the best offensive lineman from this past draft class, and I’d be surprised if he is not a 1st Team All Pro next season. He has nothing to prove to 49er fans, but to the rest of the league, and even to himself, he has pressure to establish himself as one of the greats in the league. With him and Staley manning this line, look out, defensive linemen;you are going to need a ton of ice, and get ready to go all day with some of the best.