With the ninth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame. The move was surprising to some, as several elite defensive players were still on the board at the time, and the 49ers already had two starting-caliber tackles, Joe Staley and Trent Brown, on their roster. Additionally, the consensus top offensive lineman in the draft, Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, had already been selected.
With the pick, however, the 49ers secured themselves the top tackle in the draft and a player to protect quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for years to come. They also soon traded Brown to the New England Patriots to clear a spot for McGlinchey to start right away.
49ers GM John Lynch came on with Tolbert & Lund Tuesday, and discussed the attributes that led the 49ers to select McGlinchey.
“With McGlinchey, he was a player that to be perfectly honest, as we talked the other night, when you started watching a lot of Notre Dame tape, the first guy your eye always went to was Quenton Nelson, because he was just mauling people next to McGlinchey,” Lynch said. “But the more you started watching Quenton Nelson, and we did through the process, and started studying individual guys, Mike McGlinchey, this other guy next to him, started really standing out. And you kind of had to put blinders on yourself, and say alright, let’s not look at Nelson anymore, which was hard not to do. But McGlinchey just is one of those guys who over and over did his job extremely well. And the more you watched him, you saw that he really was a dominant player at Notre Dame.
“Played at an extremely high level, and we really settled on him being the guy that we were most comfortable with at No. 9. And I think he’s a guy who obviously played at an incredibly high level. Thirty-nine straight games, always available, very healthy guy. Had 39 straight starts, never missed a practice at Notre Dame, came in with incredibly high medical grades from our guys. Just I think a real sure and clean pick for us at No. 9. And then the guy on top of it, a tremendous leader, a guy who can come in and be a cornerstone of your franchise for a long time to come.”
Lynch also detailed how McGlinchey fit the mold of what the 49ers look for in their prospects.
“We look at can the guy play, and can he make us better, and Mike was one of those guys who kind of checked every box,” Lynch said. “We kind of have a vision of what we want in terms of what we call the talent and the spirit, and every box we looked at, McGlinchey checked it, and we became very comfortable with him, and decided he was our guy.”
Listen to the interview below. To hear Lynch on McGlinchey, skip to the 1:00 mark.