Inside Slant

The Sports Xchange

April 29, 2018 at 10:44 pm.

49ers 2018 draft: Protecting Garoppolo the goal

Having played football at Notre Dame for four years, Mike McGlinchey surely knows all about Joe Montana and The Second Coming.

Both should serve him well in his new home, San Francisco.

Deciding that protecting the face-of-the-franchise quarterback was their No. 1 priority, the 49ers selected the 6-foot-8, 309-pound offensive tackle with their first pick of the 2018 draft, the No. 9 overall selection.

“We felt like both in the short-term and in the long-term at a premium position, particularly when you’ve just invested in a quarterback … we decided that if he’s there at (No.) 9, he’s the guy we’re taking,” 49ers general manager John Lynch disclosed. “We were going to listen to some offers if McGlinchey wasn’t there.”

No doubt, the standout with 37 straight starts at Notre Dame wouldn’t be a 49er if they hadn’t won a coin flip with the rival Oakland Raiders for the ninth pick. Both teams finished 2017 with 5-11 records.

Nothing says you made a good pick like having the team picking behind you, also rumored to like your guy, decide to trade down and pick five spots later, acknowledging there’s no one close to your guy at his position.

“God didn’t create a bunch of great offensive tackles,” Lynch boasted. “We think we found a guy who has an opportunity to be that.”

Lynch and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan insisted McGlinchey would have to compete for a starting job to be quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s vision-side bodyguard, but no one listening was buying it.

First off, shortly after making the pick, the 49ers traded last year’s starting right tackle, Trent Brown, to the New England Patriots, creating an immediate opening for the rookie.

And as for McGlinchey aspiring to play the more highly coveted left tackle position, that shouldn’t be an issue, either.

“Joe (Staley) is obviously one of the most accomplished tackles in the NFL and has been for a long time,” McGlinchey noted. “He and I played under some similar coaching trees, so he’s one of those guys I’ve studied for a long time on top of admiring him from afar. It’s going to be an unbelievable opportunity to play across from Joe and learn from him.

“I studied Joe. I studied how he does things, what techniques he uses to try to put it into my own game. I was able to have that access and know who he was because of the coaches that are at Notre Dame and had coached him before. Like I said, I’m just so, so excited to get to be in the same room as him and get to get around him and learn as much as I can from him in a quick amount of time.”

Lynch admitted it was tempting to accept an offer for the No. 9 pick with the many teams interested in grabbing one of the draft’s top four quarterbacks.

In the end, he was happy about two things: 1) That he already had his quarterback and didn’t have to be among the needy jockeying for position; and 2) That McGlinchey was still available when the 49ers picked.

“We fielded a bunch of calls,” Lynch admitted. “There were a lot of calls, but a lot of people hedging, ‘Hey, we’re going to call you around pick six and if our guy is still there, would you guys be interested in listening?’ And you know what we really wanted to do with everyone, we wanted to wait until (the Chicago Bears picked at No. 8), because like I said, if McGlinchey was there, we had decided earlier this week we weren’t going to hesitate and we were going to go. And fortunately he was.”




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