One of the highlights of the 2018 49ers season – when highlights were few – was the performance of Mike McGlinchey.
The first-round draft pick from Notre Dame, who earned the starting job at right offensive tackle from Game 1, improved consistently throughout the season and appears to be a significant building block.
McGlinchey was the highest-rated rookie offensive lineman in the NFL by the analytic website Pro Football Focus, and was selected to PFF’s All-Rookie team.
Wrote Cam Mellor of Pro Football Focus: “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.”
After drafting McGlinchey, the 49ers traded starter Trent Brown, opening the door for McGlinchey to play immediately. Head coach Kyle Shanahan loved what he saw from McGlinchey from Day 1.
“McGlinchey has been great all year,” Shanahan told ESPN’s Nick Wagoner recently. “Just the pressure that was put on him in the first day to come in, replace Trent and take over that spot. He showed it wasn’t too big for him the first day of OTAs and he’s continued throughout the year. …
“He’s always up for the challenge of whoever he’s going against. He’s very prepared. If he gets beat by somebody, he doesn’t panic and overcompensate. He thinks of why he did and he usually gets better as he struggles in a game.”
Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman said McGlinchey hardly seemed like a rookie, but carried himself as if he were 42.
“I don’t know how they messed up his birth certificate,” Sherman told Wagoner. “He came in here with his shirt tucked in and you thought he was somebody’s dad, at least I did. He’s come in and been a consummate professional. He’s probably one of the better rookies that I’ve seen.”