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Mike McGlinchey makes PFF’s All-Rookie team

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A fitting end to the best rookie offensive lineman. What a pick.

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We talked a lot about San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle on Friday and Saturday we will give offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey a little love. He’s made a team of his own: Pro Football Focus’ All-Rookie team.

At this point, it shouldn’t be surprising. McGlinchey was the clear No. 1 rookie offensive lineman for 2018. While taken with the 10th pick, he managed to edge out the sixth pick and former Notre Dame teammate, Indianapolis Colts guard Quenton Nelson in PFF ratings for the year.

Here’s what PFF had to say about McGlinchey making the team:

No rookie tackle was more dominant with his run-blocking than McGlinchey this season, consistently moving defenders off the point of attack. He was impressive enough as a run blocker in 2018 to even outweigh the fact that he allowed 40 pressures from his right tackle spot for San Francisco.

McGlinchey certainly can use work with his pass blocking, but this isn’t saying his pass blocking is atrocious. He went up against some of the best in the league this year in Von Miller, Aaron Donald, and Khalil Mack. A rookie against that is going to have a very difficult time.

And of course, we are all high on the 49ers run game and Matt Breida. A large credit of the running backs’ success (all four of them) rests on McGlinchey’s shoulders opening up lanes and of course, dancing during touchdowns.

So now the question is what happens next year? If the 49ers were to plug him in at left tackle like some speculate, I’d assume you’d see him in the spot in some preseason games getting some work at the position. Not a ton, but he may spell Joe Staley. When the regular season hits he’ll play right tackle without any extra reps at left. I still think, however, the 49ers will keep him at right tackle once Staley retires and have someone else (a possible pick from the 2019 draft) come in and fill the role because McGlinchey has been too good at right tackle. Why tinker with it?

Now that his rookie season is over, McGlinchey will have another role: leadership in the locker room. It will be interesting to see what kind of role he takes as he grows further in his NFL career and helps the rookies after him.

Some have said McGlinchey hasn’t made much impact. I say, he played every game, he made the 49ers’ run game an unwanted guest against defenses, and he has no off field issues. For a first round pick that’s pretty darn good. Sure he has things to work on, but it’s his first year. Despite being devastated by injuries and having nothing to play for, McGlinchey played every snap hard. Brandon Thomas was a bad O-line pick. Marcus Martin was a bad O-line pick. McGlinchey was a great pick for the O-line and he’s only going to get better.

I’d say that’s a darn good first round pick for John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan, wouldn’t you?