Enough about the Mike McGlinchey pick not being that good. It’s a tired, bad, and unpopular take. Some are saying the San Francisco 49ers right tackle has lacked impact, splash, and whatever adjective to get that narrative going.
McGlinchey has transformed this line. He was taken 10th, after an O-line draft crush of many, Quenton Nelson was taken 4th. Yet he’s right now the highest rated rookie on Pro Football Focus:
Mike McGlinchey leads all rookie offensive linemen in PFF grade so far this season. pic.twitter.com/X7K64Hsfde— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) November 30, 2018
Of all rookie offensive linemen and McGlinchey sits as the best. Yes, the 49ers offloaded Trent Brown who was no scrub on the line, but he also was frustrating with his discipline, coming to practice overweight. McGlinchey has been a great run-blocker and decent in pass protection and it’s his rookie season for crying out loud. Yes, his pass protection isn’t near the level of his run blocking, but that grade above is overall, not just run blocking.
Is he going to be a good left tackle when the time comes for Joe Staley to hang it up? Who knows. He struggled a lot at the position when he played it in college at Notre Dame and he’s got the makings of an elite right tackle if he stays where he is. It’s a tough decision to make, but maybe the 49ers can find a left tackle to develop and keep McGlinchey in the position he’s made impact at.
There are small things to be noting in the 49ers rebuild and it’s been said over and over again the line has been much improved since it’s porous performances in 2015-onward. The 49ers may just have found the line they want and with a couple more picks to compete/add depth, that’s one unit that won’t be inducing cringes on Sundays.
They 49ers under John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have also made some questionable draft picks. We can all agree on that. One is on the commissioner’s exempt list and another didn’t see a day outside of two preseasons, and there’s many more. There’s a lot of questions to have on the draft strategy. Mike McGlinchey is definitely not one of them.