The San Francisco 49ers traded for Trent Williams on the final day of the NFL draft. The Niners head into the 2020 regular season with a better offensive line than they did at this point last year. Pro Football Focus ranked the top-five starting duos at offensive tackle in the NFL. San Francisco’s duo just missed the top-five and was named honorable mention:
The new-look duo in San Francisco has the potential to be one of the best in the NFL, but there are some questions surrounding Williams and McGlinchey. What will Williams look like after several injuries and an entire year away from football in 2020? Will he come out right away and look like the elite left tackle he has been for nearly his entire career? As for McGlinchey, can he build on his improvement as a pass-blocker from 2018 to 2019? And can he consistently dominate in the run game, which he proved capable of early on as a rookie and in this past postseason? The talent is there for this to be a top-tier tackle duo, and they were close to cracking the top five on this list, but there is reason to be hesitant with some of the questions surrounding Williams and McGlinchey.
We’ve touched on every angle regarding Williams and rust. PFF’s questions about McGlinchey are fair. He was not consistent last year, even after returning from injury. The 49ers need their right tackle to put it all together for
19 16 games. There shouldn’t be question marks in Year 3 for McGlinchey, who struggled mightily against T.J. Watt but shut down Jadeveon Clowney. San Francisco needs the same player weekly.
As for Williams, is it possible that he can play himself out of the 49ers range? If he stays healthy and plays like he always has when Williams has been on the field, he’ll be in line for a big payday. With George Kittle, Fred Warner, and Nick Bosa’s contract extensions on the horizon, paying Williams may prove to be difficult.
Either way, in 2020, the goal for the 49ers should be to have a top-10 offensive line, and that starts with their tackles, who they’ve invested heavily in. If McGlinchey and Williams can play at a top-five level, it’ll be tough to slow the offense down as the younger skill players get more comfortable with their roles on the team.