The San Francisco 49ers made a big move on their offensive line last month, drafting Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey and then turning around and trading right tackle Trent Brown to the New England Patriots. Brown always had a ton of potential, but his ability in power vs. zone blocking coupled with his impending free agency and regular concerns about his weight and conditioning made this not entirely shocking.
We’re back once again with some thoughts from a college blogger on the 49ers draft pick. Big thanks to Joshua Vowles, site manager at One Foot Down, for taking a few minutes to talk about McGlinchey.
What does he do particularly well on the football field?
He clears a very wide path. When McGlinchey gets his hands on an opponent, he generally overpowers them with excellent technique and a hunger for contact. So quite simply, he destroys those in front of him.
What does he need to do to improve his game at the NFL level?
His footwork needs help. McGlinchey isn’t slow or heavy footed, but he had a tendency to take a misstep which cause a loss in position against a speed rush. I’m not sure if he has trouble anticipating that rush with his body, or if he just loses focus. It has been an issue from time to time, but it does appear to be something that can be helped.
There is some talk he might be best suited at right tackle in the NFL. That would be his initial role with the 49ers, but there could be an opportunity at left tackle down the road. What do Notre Dame fans think about his chances of moving to the “premier” LT position in the NFL?
I actually think that McGlinchey would make a premier right tackle as a career. In this day and age, as it was the argument for taking a guard in the top 10, blitzes and rush packages come from everywhere on the field. I think he could do well on the left side, but his more natural fit is on the right. It’s a position where he could play at an elite level for 10 years.
What can you tell us about his personality and how he is off the field?
Mike is everything that you would want in a teammate. He’s a strong leader and is full of confidence, but he shows a humbleness that one doesn’t expect from his gigantic frame. I was most impressed back in 2016 when the Irish kept losing close game after close game. They trotted McGlinchey out to talk to us after the coaches press conference, and despite the anguish that was so noticeable on his face, he remained patient, and kept a professional demeanor.
Anything else of note worth knowing about McGlinchey?
Many people know that Matt Ryan is Mike’s cousin, but he never told anyone until his junior year. The news came after a follow up question to something innocuous. I always found that a bit fascinating given the way people normally want to attach themselves to success.