For weeks, the buzz around the 49ers was that they’d take a defensive player with the 10th overall pick of the NFL draft.
The only question was, would it be a linebacker, an edge rusher or a cornerback?
Turns out the buzz was all wrong.
On Thursday night, the Niners selected Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey with their first pick, figuring he can compete with Trent Brown to start at right tackle in 2018 and perhaps slide over to the left side to take over for Joe Staley when Staley eventually retires.
The pick was a bit of a surprise considering there were some highly regarded defensive players still available, such as linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick.
In fact, when the pick was announced, Bucky Brooks of the NFL Network immediately graded the selection a “C-minus” because, “Look at some of the other guys (still on) the board.”
But, he noted, with a new quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers want to give him the best offensive line possible for protection and for the health of the running game. Former NFL general manager Charley Casserly, too, voiced his doubts about the pick on NFL Network, echoing Brooks that the 49ers left better players untaken by drafting specifically to bolster a position of need.
McGlinchey, 6-foot-8 and 309 pounds, was rated as the top offensive tackle in the draft and reportedly moves well, so will fit into Kyle Shanahan’s blocking scheme that prizes mobility.