San Francisco 49ers’ Draft: Niners Focus On Protection With Mike McGlinchey Pick

There will be questions about whether or not the San Francisco 49ers' reached to take offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey.

Mike McGlinchey leaves the football field.
Joe Robbins / Getty Images

There will be questions about whether or not the San Francisco 49ers' reached to take offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey.

Mike McGlinchey getting drafted by the San Fransico 49ers (courtesy of the San Francisco Gate) at No. 9 overall was a shocker. Despite being considered as the best offensive tackle on most team’s draft board, was it a reach for the San Francisco 49ers to take Mike McGlinchey when they did?

That question was raised the moment that Roger Goodell announced that the 49ers were taking Mike McGlinchey was the ninth pick. The question will continue until McGlinchey can prove himself as a top-tier left NFL tackle.

Several NFL mock drafts had Mike McGlinchey going to a team in the middle to bottom-third of the first round. With most of the attention for this year’s draft being placed on the quarterbacks, few saw the 49ers going this route.

Someone usually has to protect quarterbacks. It is imperative that the San Francisco 49ers block for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and keep him upright.

Age is slowly beginning to catch up to the San Francisco 49ers’ incumbent starting left tackle Joe Staley. He is a ripe and tender age of 33-years-old. Becuase of this, the 49ers had the responsibility to identify a potential heir to the position.

Mike McGlinchey hugs his teammate.
Protecting Jimmy Garoppolo will be key for a San Francisco 49ers’ team looking to make the next step, Drafting Mike McGlinchey helps. Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers made their draft selection of Mike McGlinchey with Jimmy Garoppolo in mind.

After handing Garoppolo a five-year, $137.5 million contract, (courtesy of NFL.com) building an offensive line became the Niners’ top priority. If either of the wide receivers taken in the first round D.J. Moore or Calvin Ridley goes on to have a brilliant first season, 49ers fans may begin to grow restless. However, given that the San Francisco 49ers were picking No. 9, both Moore and Ridley would have been considered a reach there.

Essentially, the 49ers were in a bit of a bind.

Instead of trading down in the NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers went with the safe option in Mike McGlinchey. The 49ers opting to play it safe with McGlinchey could become a major factor in Jimmy Garopplo staying out of harm’s way.

Mike McGlinchey is huge at 6-foot-8. He must pick up various blitzing schemes in order to be able to utilize his size to perfection. He is also strong and agile enough protect the quarterback and running backs as they go into the second level.

How quickly Mike McGlinchey adjusts, the better the San Francisco 49ers will be after they decided to play it safe in the NFL Draft.