The San Francisco 49ers report for training camp on July 25th, at which point position competitions will work their way into focus. Training camp also means we finally get to see the youngest and newest members of the 49ers get into pads and engage in some real contact with the team for the first time.
As training camp approaches, we thought it would be fun to take a look at each of the 49ers notable rookies, and consider the best and worst case scenarios for them this season. We are looking at draft picks and a handful of UDFAs. Additionally, by best and worst case scenario, I’m thinking realistic best and worst. Sure, they could become All Pros as rookies or could end up getting cut by the end of training camp. But let’s consider realistically what would be the best and the worst for each.
Today, let’s take a look first round pick and former Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey. The 49ers entered the offseason with Joe Staley at left tackle and Trent Brown at right tackle. With Brown entering the final year of his contract and questions about his conditioning and commitment, the 49ers drafted McGlinchey ninth overall and then traded Brown the next day. McGlinchey was Notre Dame’s starting right tackle his redshirt sophomore season, then moved to left tackle for his junior and senior seasons. He is slotted in as the 49ers starting right tackle as a rookie.
Best case scenario for 2018
He locks down the right tackle position and earns all-rookie team honors. Starting at right instead of left tackle makes it difficult to secure a Pro Bowl nod, but an all rookie honor is entirely achievable. He is strong in the run game, but his scouting reports point to weaknesses against bull rushers and speedier rushers. If he is going to reach his best case, he will need to improve against the pass rush.
Worst case scenario for 2018
Barring injury, McGlinchey is likely in the starting lineup all season, even if he finds himself struggling. An absolute worst case would see him benched at some point, but a more realistic worst case scenario is we see a guy who is solid in run blocking, but struggles in pass blocking. The 49ers will hope the right guard can offer some help to McGlinchey, but Kyle Shanahan would likely be forced to scheme the other way to overcome McGlinchey’s struggles.