Meaningful football is about to begin folks. With that we’re getting predictions left and right. THere’s the San Francisco 49ers winning a playoff game, there’s power rankings, and PFF has a breakout candidate for 2019. The choice for the 49ers may surprise you, because their breakout candidate is tackle Mike McGlinchey.
McGlinchey is heading into year 2 of what was a solid rookie season. He was an absolute mauler in terms of run blocking (something Matt Breida had to appreciate), but his pass blocking was a near-polar opposite. In fact, McGlinchey was making teams of the week becuase his run blocking was that good. His pass blocking was nowhere near as effective.
Well, if his preseason is anything to consider, he might have gotten better at his weakness. Here’s what PFF thinks of the tackle being a breakout candidate for the 49ers:
Mike McGlinchey didn’t wow in pass protection a season ago — he allowed 39 pressures from 632 snaps, and his 64.2 pass-blocking grade ranked 65th among 82 qualifying tackles — but he was exceptional in the run game. The Notre Dame product paved the way for Matt Breida & Co. all season long, earning the league’s third-best run-blocking grade (78.2) and the league’s third-best impact run-block percentage (12.5%). If McGlinchey can elevate his work in the passing game while continuing his dominance in the running game, this man is a top-10 tackle.
With all this Laremy Tunsil hubbub going about and the Texans’ need for an offensive tackle beforehand, you can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief, because the 49ers have McGlinchey. They don’t have to go through the woes of needed exterior protection. The best part is McGlinchey can slot in at left tackle when Joe Staley calls it a career. Ahhhhh development.
McGlinchey has shown some great things in the preseason. He made PFF’s Team of the Week in Week 3 (against the Kansas City Chiefs) and did not allow a sack, hit, or hurry during his snaps in preseason. Remember, this was a guy who was seen as making up for his dismal pass-blocking with his superior run-blocking. He gets a 100.0 pass-blocking grade?
If McGlinchey breaks out, that should solidify the questions on if his pick “had impact.” Even if the 49ers keep him at right tackle, you’ve seen over the weekend how much elite tackles can go for in the league. McGlinchey isn’t there yet, but he’s certainly on his way.
Let’s see how he does in the regular season against some of the better D-lines in the league. Do you think McGlinchey is the breakout player of 2019 or do you have someone else in mind?