John Lynch and the San Francisco 49ers took most by surprise on Thursday by passing on the bevy of defensive talent in the 2018 NFL Draft and selecting tackle Mike McGlinchey. The Notre Dame product emerged as the top tackle in this year’s draft and could potentially start opposite Joe Staley come September.
The initial wave of first round draft grades have been announced, and McGlinchey and the 49ers earned favorable reviews through Day 1.
Here's a look at how the 49ers fared:
"Mike McGlinchey is Matt Ryan's cousin. He has a winning, likable personality, like Jason Kelce without the 'unhinged Batman villain' vibe. He's also a punishing run-blocker with fine technique who did a swell job cleaning up the devastation left in teammate Quenton Nelson's wake. And unlike tackles who played in wide-open offenses, he can line up in a three-point stance without looking like a middle-aged fat guy at his first yoga class."
SB Nation: B-
"If the Colts' pick was about getting Luck upright, this one is about keeping Jimmy Garoppolo upright and helping him become the franchise player he looks like. McGlinchey could start his career on the right side, but Joe Staley turns 34 in August. McGlinchey could be his successor. However, very few saw him as being a top-10 player in this draft. This pick is about positional value. It's questionable, but logical."
CBS Sports: B-
"He will be a backup next year, but then take over for Joe Staley. Solid future pick."
"The 49ers handed quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo a five-year, $137.5 million deal in February, so it makes a lot of sense that they're committed to keeping him upright and throwing the ball downfield by taking a tackle here with their top pick. McGlinchey's the top tackle in this class, fundamentally sound as a pass protector and physical as a run blocker. San Francisco adds a good, reliable player at a premium position; the 49ers can slot him in opposite Joe Staley at the right tackle spot from day one."
"This is a bit of a reach, but the Niners needed to find an eventual replacement for Joe Staley, who turns 34 in August. McGlinchey has good feet and will be a factor in the run game from Day 1. He's a perfect fit in Kyle Shanahan's offense."
NY Times: C+
"Sports Illustrated noted, "Drafting McGlinchey is a bit of a head-scratcher given that the 49ers just gave left tackle Joe Staley a raise for the next two years." Nobody really hated the pick, but few loved it either, as grades ranged from B to C."
"McGlinchey brings power in the run game, and if he can learn to be a better pass protector, they'll have a great find. He's a solid player."
"Jimmy Garoppolo should be in good hands. Notre Dame allowed just 24 sacks during the 2017 season, which shows McGlinchey and guard Quenton Nelson, who was picked ahead of him, put in some serious work in protecting QB Brandon Wimbush last season."
"Adding to the curiosity of this pick is the fact that Kyle Shanahan's system often makes life easier on pass rushers. It is a zone running-based scheme, however, and those blocks require athleticism along the O-line."