In a twist that no one saw coming – ok not no one – the San Francisco 49ers picked Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey with the 9th pick in the NFL Draft (just three picks after teammate and fellow O-lineman Quenton Nelson).
McGlinchey said that he had a formal meeting with the 49ers at the NFL Combine but had not spoken with them since. So the rookie offensive lineman was also surprised by the pick.
“I had no idea,” McGlinchey said in a conference call with the media. “It’s definitely a shock. I’m absolutely thrilled to be a part of the San Francisco 49ers’ organization.”
It may have been a shock to everyone else, but the 49ers did indeed get their guy.
“Last week, we decided, if he’s there at nine, he’s the guy we’re taking,” said General Manager John Lynch.
Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan is McGlinchey’s cousin, but head coach Kyle Shanahan didn’t ask his former QB about the tackle.
“I didn’t want to blow our cover…I didn’t trust Matt not to say anything,” joked Shanahan.
In 2017, McGlinchey was a First-Team All-America at left tackle for the Fighting Irish, while the O-line won the Joe Moore Award for most outstanding offensive line. In 2016, he started 13 games at right tackle.
“Every time we watched the film, he just got better,” Lynch said. “He’s made of the right stuff, on and off the field.”
McGlinchey’s character is something that both Lynch and Shanahan stressed over and over, calling him the smartest player in the draft and saying he aced his NFL Combine interview.
“We kind of think he’s a game-changer, in terms of the type of person he is, the presence he has. It all made it an easy choice,” said Lynch.
As mentioned above, McGlinchey played both left and right tackle in college, but Shanahan confirmed that the plan is for him to compete for the right tackle position. The rookie has a lot to learn about the Shanahan offense but he’s up to the challenge.
“I don’t know a whole lot about it, but I’m ready to learn, and I’m ready to give it my best effort. And that’s what they picked me to do,” said McGlinchey.
McGlinchey is the best tackle in this year’s draft, and the pick puts a spotlight on Trent Brown’s future. Brown will be coming back from surgery to repair a torn labrum. He’s also in the final year of his contract and general manger John Lynch said earlier this week that there is no rush to extend it.
“There’s no urgency there,” said Lynch. “We don’t need to do anything right away. “…We like Trent as a football player, and we can take our time on that one.”
But for now, Brown is a 49er.
“His status on this team is that he’s on our team,” said Shanahan. “I’m glad we have some competition, some very good competition.”
When asked if the 49ers were open to trading Brown, Lynch said, “Never say never.”
And how does the GM sum up his 2018 first-round pick.
“He’s a badass.”
Day 1 is in the books. On to Day 2. Go Niners!