Between George Kittle always getting into Pro Football Focus’ Team of the Week and Mike McGlinchey getting all the rookie love, Joe Staley seems to have been left out. Or has he? The 49ers offensive tackle is ranked 8th on Pro Football Focus’ top-25 offensive linemen. Unfortunately, Mike McGlinchey is nowhere to be found on this list, but he’s done plenty in 2018 where not making the list isn’t an indictment on his abilities. Today it’s all about Staley and again he’s one of the best.
Here’s what PFF had to say about Staley making the list (82.5 grade):
There was a point in Staley’s career where people were ready to write him off as a bust. Now he’s polishing off a resume worthy of Hall of Fame consideration. Staley has twice been PFF’s highest-graded left tackle and the 34-year-old hasn’t shown any signs of aging again.
They got that right. Staley is immortal, he does not age. This is a dude that was thinking about retiring until Kyle Shanahan talked him out of it. Regarding his recent performance against the Denver Broncos, I don’t think the guys at PFF factored in how versatile Staley is. I mean, that catch. Some people can keep going year after year, just ask Frank Gore.
Father time is still unbeaten, however. While Staley is still No. 8, and one of the best left tackles in the league, the 49ers will need to start getting the exit strategy figured out sooner rather than later. A lot have said the heir apparent is Mike McGlinchey, but he struggled at the position in college and has been solid at right tackle — why mess up what’s working? The 49ers wouldn’t need to burn a first rounder, but a third may be adequate for a tackle or swing that sit behind Staley for a year and fill in at guard as well. The last thing you want is a rookie left tackle, that can always lead to issues.
The one thing worse than losing Staley to retirement, is losing The Joe Show as well. If you haven’t watched it, the shoe is Staley walking around and essentially harassing the rest of the team. It’s comedy gold.
As far as Staley and this ranking is concerned, send this guy to the Pro Bowl.