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49ers 2018 NFL Draft recap: OT Mike McGlinchey

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49ers draft recap Mike McGlinchey
© Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers added nine players to their roster in the 2018 NFL Draft. We break down the Niners’ draft, and discuss each pick’s expected role for the upcoming 2018 season and beyond.

 

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan were full of surprises during the 2018 NFL Draft. While the 49ers added a number of talented players at key positions, they avoided the team’s most immediate areas of need — edge rusher and interior offensive line.

Let’s take a look at each of the San Francisco 49ers’ nine draft picks, starting with their first-round selection:

 

Round 1 – Pick #9: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

With quarterback Josh Allen on the board — as well as a number of top prospects available — the 49ers were in a perfect position to trade back for extra draft capital. According to Lynch, the 49ers didn’t even entertain trade offers — which is a highly questionable decision if true.

Instead, Lynch drafted tackle Mike McGlinchey, in a move that was “definitely a shock” to McGlinchey — as well as the team’s fan base, since the 49ers had two returning starting tackles on the roster. Lynch promptly fixed this “problem” by trading right tackle Trent Brown to the New England Patriots.

While Lynch and Shanahan did leave premier talent — and extra draft capital — on the table, McGlinchey is a talent in his own right. The 6-foot-8 team captain of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish was Pro Football Focus’ top offensive tackle in the draft, which was highlighted by a 2017 run-blocking grade of 95.0, which was tops in the 2018 draft class:

McGlinchey began his college career on the right side of the line, before moving to left tackle for his junior season. Since McGlinchey is a better run blocker than pass defender, many scouts believe he’s a better fit at right tackle.

Given the fact that he was a top-10 pick, Lynch and Shanahan expect McGlinchey to take over for left tackle Joe Staley once he retires. McGlinchey — a first cousin of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan — does have the athleticism necessary to play on the left side of the line, but will need to learn the technique necessary to play the position at the NFL level.

In the end, the 49ers drafted the best offensive tackle — a premier position — in a weak draft class, and passed on the opportunity to trade back for more draft capital, and still draft high-end talent. We won’t be able to fairly grade this pick until McGlinchey reaches his full potential; if he develops into a Pro-Bowl-caliber left tackle, it will be graded as a great move — if he ends up as a run-of-the-mill right tackle, then it will be considered a missed opportunity for the organization.

Hopefully, it’s the former.

NEXT PICK: Dante Pettis, WR, Washington

Chris Wilson is the Lead Writer for Locked on 49ers - part of the Locked On Podcast Network. You may have seen Chris Wilson’s work on NFL game theory, statistical analysis and film breakdowns at FanSided, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, ClutchPoints, Insidethe49 and others. Follow Chris Wilson on Twitter @cgawilson.

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