Mike McGlinchey had a strong rookie season, but hasn’t been resting on his strong resume.
The 49ers’ starting right tackle has spent this offseason working to refine his techniques, while also putting on 15 pounds of muscle to cope with NFL defensive linemen.
McGlinchey, who spoke with reporters recently during the kickoff to the team’s organized team activities (OTAs), says he’s also been excited to have a full offseason to devote to getting better (without having to go through the draft process and NFL Combine the way he did a year ago). This offseason includes getting the chance to go against top defensive linemen such as Dee Ford, Nick Bosa and DeForest Buckner in practices and drills.
“I’m not afraid to say they’re better athletes than I am,” McGlinchey told Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee. “It’s not just a wide 9 (the 49ers’ new defensive alignment, with defensive ends split wider) where they’re sprinting up the field. They’re setting the edge with physiciality. So it’s just a matter of playing with force and keeping your eyes where they need to be. It’s definitely going to be a nice little challenge with the athletes we have on the outside.”
McGlinchey, a first-round pick out of Notre Dame a year ago, ranked No. 1 among all rookie offensive linemen in the NFL as a run blocker, according to Pro Football Focus.
But, McGlinchey says his footwork fell off late last season and he’s spent time working on that fundamental this offseason.
Going against a guy like Ford every day in practice – one of the NFL’s top pass rushers in 2018 when he was with Kansas City – will be a nice test, he says.
“I’m excited to work with him,” McGlinchey told 49ers.com. “It’s only going to make me better (and) the rest of our tackles better. He’s going to be special for us this year and I’m certainly glad he’s on our side now.”