And so the San Francisco 49ers have selected an offensive tackle, about the last position most honestly expected, but as usual, doesn’t look as bad after a couple hours to mull it over. NFL Draft grades, though, have spoken, and the consensus is ... decent pick?
Mike McGlinchey was certainly a reach at No. 9 overall, because he wasn’t the best player available or even one of the best ... 5 or so players still available at that pick.
But he’s going to fill a starting role, and this class being weak on tackles doesn’t mean the best of the lot isn’t worth the premium that the position is typically afforded. McGlinchey is a future starter at left tackle, and that itself is worthy of a top 10 pick, so maybe it’s not a reach at all.
It’s safe to say, though, that there are plenty who dislike the pick. Some like it, they’re just a quieter group in general. I have nothing new to report on the status of Trent Brown, but after all the things I heard prior to the NFL Scouting Combine, a trade wouldn’t be the most-surprising thing.
Anyway, we’re going to take a dive into NFL Draft grades and the general opinion on the McGlinchey selection around the Internet.
Here’s what SB Nation had to say about the pick, taking on a “too low, just right or too high?” approach:
Just right, I guess. His highlight film isn’t as sexy as that of his now-former Notre Dame teammate Quenton Nelson, but he’s solid. And when you just paid your life savings in the hopes that Jimmy Garoppolo will reproduce last year’s small sample over the long haul, you better make sure you’re stocked at tackle. I don’t feel I’m good enough at evaluating linemen to feel strongly one way or another here, but McGlinchey was good at ND.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports gave the 49ers a ‘B-’ for the McGlinchey selection, calling him a “solid future pick.” Steven Ruiz of For The Win gave the 49ers a ‘B’ overall, saying that the selection is “a bit of a reach.” He also calls McGlinchey a “perfect fit in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.”
Chad Reuter of NFL.com gave the 49ers a ‘C+’. saying the 49ers will have a “great find” if McGlinchey “can learn to be a better pass protector.” He also suggests that guys like Tremaine Edmunds, Derwin James and Minkah Fitzpatrick would have been better selections. I tend to agree with that.
That sentiment is echoed by Richard Janvrin of Bleacher Report, who give the 49ers a ‘B’ for the pick, though they seem to imply he is starting in 2018, which is anything but certain.
Another critic is Andy Benoit of SI.com, who gives the 49ers a ‘C’ and has a lot to say about it.
Drafting McGlinchey is a bit of a head-scratcher given that the 49ers just gave left tackle Joe Staley a raise for the next two years. Right tackle is just as valuable in today’s NFL, but it’s hard to imagine the Niners not signing Trent Brown (the NFL’s largest man, and a decent athlete) to a long-term deal after this season. Do they believe the nearly 6’ 8” McGlinchey can somehow play guard? Do they believe Brown can? Or do they think Staley is slowing down, which was the belief before he turned in a stellar 2017 season? Adding to the curiosity of this pick is the fact that Kyle Shanahan’s system often makes life easier on pass rushers. It is a zone running-based scheme, however, and those blocks require athleticism along the O-line.
Finally, Danny Kelly of The Ringer was the most effusive in his praise of the selection. He gave the 49ers’ pick of McGlinchey an ‘A’ for “Value” and an ‘A+’ for “Fit.” Kelly notes that the 49ers could slot McGlinchey at the right tackle spot from day one.