The San Francisco 49ers identified a future cornerstone for their offensive line Thursday when they selected former Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey ninth overall in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft.
ESPN's Field Yates noted the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are having a good draft so far:
Many thought McGlinchey filled an obvious need for San Francisco:
McGlinchey wasn't the most coveted Notre Dame lineman in the 2018 draft class—that distinction belonged to offensive guard Quenton Nelson, who went sixth overall to the Indianapolis Colts—but he still garnered plenty of positive reviews following his emergence as an anchor for head coach Brian Kelly in South Bend, Indiana.
After starting out at right tackle, McGlinchey pivoted to left tackle for his junior season and flashed his foundational capabilities despite the program's inconsistencies.
Most notably, McGlinchey stood out thanks to his stellar quickness at 6'8" and 312 pounds, which consistently allowed him to keep opposing edge-rushers at bay.
The Philadelphia native, who was a two-time captain for the Fighting Irish, was also lauded for his leadership capabilities.
"Just an incredible kid," Kelly said in December, per 247Sports' Tim Prister. "I'm in the business 27 years, and you get one guy like that."
The 49ers seem to have found their quarterback of the future after they acquired Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots. With that in mind, it makes sense to select a player such as McGlinchey, who can anchor the offensive line.
McGlinchey should help improve a unit that ranked 18th in adjusted sack rate, according to Football Outsiders.