San Francisco 49ers

Bizarre first night of NFL Draft fit perfectly with the country’s general mood

Bizarre first night of NFL Draft fit perfectly with the country’s general mood

This was the NFL Draft that went off the road before the first pick and kept burrowing into the woods deeper and deeper until that special moment right after the Dallas pick when Rich Eisen yanked off his own head and shrieked, “I hadn’t prepared for this!”

Okay, that didn’t happen. It doesn’t mean Eisen wouldn’t have tried to do so if he thought it would help people stop booing Roger Goodell, but instead the entertainment was basically as a nation of draft junkies simultaneously wept and cursed for four hours.

Which is just as it should be – a festival of rage based on so many people realizing simultaneously that months of pretending to know things about football has turned out to be a colossal waste of time.

From the moment Cleveland decided to fight orthodoxy and take Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first selection, the day just got progressively weirder. USC quarterback Sam Darnold fell to the New York Jets. Cleveland jumped about 12 more coveted players to take Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward. Buffalo traded up to take double polarizing quarterback Josh Allen of Wyoming.

And just when it looked like both the 49ers and Raiders would luck into the guys they wanted, Chicago stole Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith from San Francisco, and San Francisco stole Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey from Oakland, and Oakland frantically traded down so Arizona could have UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, who looked like he’d just been handed a sizzling hot pan with no handle. New Orleans traded two first round picks for Texas-San Antonio defensive tackle Marcus Davenport, and the Raiders ended up taking UCLA tackle Kolton Miller, who most folks thinks is a far cry from McGlinchey.

And then, because that wasn’t sufficiently bizarre, they traded their third pick to Pittsburgh for wide receiver Martavis Bryant

(For the record, nobody knows if McGlinchey or Miller will be 10-year starters or washouts, and projections on where they might fall on the scale will not happen here. Both John Lynch and Jon Gruden got players they hope will keep their high-priced quarterbacks safe and unjostled, so they did “address a need,” as the pundits say. Maybe that will help your moods).

And so it went. The first day of the annual Pavlovian recitation of names most people barely know that began with Goodell learning what commissioners should have known well before this – that even human shields cannot save you from yourself – ended with every draft pundit in America asking his or her editor if it would be permissible to give 26 teams “F” grades in their first nonsensical report card stories.

That is, except Baltimore, which traded up to 32 to get Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, who should have been a first-rounder, and formerly paralyzed Steeler linebacker Ryan Shazier, who walked onto the stage to introduce the Pittsburgh pick at 28. Those were the feel-good moments, unless you feel good about Goodell being booed like Public Enemy No. 1.0.

Oh, a few teams won nods of tolerance for their safe and solid choices, like Penn State running back Saquon Barkley (New York Giants), or Darnold, or NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb (Denver), or Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson (Indianapolis).

And that, children and adults, is what the NFL Draft should be in these angry times – another vehicle to vent angrily about something they once loved. With every surprised guffaw, the TV boys exposed how off the rails this evening went, and the reactions everywhere else ran the gamut from “Well, maybe the general manager knows something we don’t” to “No, no they don’t.”

I will put it to you, then, that this was the right draft night for the country’s general mood. America has never been less satisfied with its place, and all human interactions seem to begin with a shaken fist and a guttural “Why I oughta . . .” Thus a draft where only a few fan bases got what they wanted and everyone else wanted a do-over seemed perfect.

Whether this can be blamed on Roger Goodell’s schadenfreude-soaked appearances or the Browns re-establishing their Brownsian bonafides is for others to decide, but it seems fair to say that this was not the thigh-slapping commode-hugging good time most folks thought Draft Night would deliver.

Except for Lamar Jackson and Ryan Shazier. If that’s your idea of good entertainment, and it should be.

Being drafted by 49ers was 'definitely a shock' for Mike McGlinchey

Being drafted by 49ers was 'definitely a shock' for Mike McGlinchey

SANTA CLARA -- Mike McGlinchey was the center of attention during a party with approximately 150 attendees Thursday night near his home in Richboro, Pennsylvania.

The Notre Dame offensive tackle knew his name would get called at some point in the first round of the NFL draft. But when the phone rang and the 49ers were on the other end, he was more than a little surprised.

“I had no idea,” McGlinchey said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “It’s definitely a shock. But (I’m) absolutely thrilled to be a part of the San Francisco 49ers organization and my family and I couldn’t be happier.”

McGlinchey had a formal meeting with the 49ers at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in February. But, then, he did not hear another word from the 49ers until the phone rang while he was seated at Giuseppe’s Restaurant on the first night of the NFL draft.

He was welcomed to the 49ers organzation by CEO Jed York, general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers envision McGlinchey having a long career, beginning with some competition with Trent Brown at right tackle.

McGlinchey’s first cousin is Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, so he already knew a lot about Shanahan. Ryan had an MVP season in 2016 with Shanahan as the Falcons offensive coordinator.

“I’ve heard quite a bit about Kyle and he’s done obviously a great job both with the Falcons and started with the 49ers,” McGlinchey said. “My cousin Matt has said nothing but great things about Kyle. I’m really excited to get to work with him.”

McGlinchey said he was excited to come to an organization that was rich in history and appears to be heading in the right direction.

“I know that they were an up-and-coming organization with a great new head coach and a great new quarterback and they proved that at the end of the season last year,” he said.

McGlinchey figures to be protecting that new quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, for many years to come. McGlinchey liked what he saw from him during the 49ers’ season-ending five-game win streak.

“I watched a few of his games,” McGlinchey said of Garoppolo. “He looks amazing.”

49ers select Notre Dame T Mike McGlinchey with No. 9 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft

49ers select Notre Dame T Mike McGlinchey with No. 9 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft

MIKE McGLINCHEY
Position: Offensive tackle
College: Notre Dame
Height: 6-8
Weight: 309
Selection: First round (No. 9 overall)
Scouting report: McGlinchey was widely considered the top tackle in this draft and only behind Notre Dame teammate Quenton Nelson as the top offensive lineman entering the league. He has a background as a tight end. He has good athleticism. After playing right tackle for his first two college seasons, he moved to the left side as a junior before turning pro.
Projected role: The 49ers selected McGlinchey over such options as defensive backs Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James, and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. The club has the option of trying McGlinchey initially at guard to see if he fits into the competition on the interior offensive line. Regardless, his future is at tackle, where Joe Staley and Trent Brown are now stationed. Brown will miss the offseason program due to shoulder surgery but should be back for training camp. Brown enters the final year of his contract, and the 49ers have shown no interest in signing him to a long-term contract extension. If Brown is out of shape when he returns to the playing field, McGlinchey can easily fit in that job. In his second season, that should be no question who will start at right tackle. After Staley's career is over, McGlinchey can step in at left tackle.
Quotable: "I was 260 pounds at signing day, and now I’m standing at almost 315, so a lot physically has changed about me. I went into school as skinny and little. I knew I was going to play offensive tackle but I wasn’t physically prepared to do it. It took a long time, it took two years before I started my first game as a redshirt freshman and I got beat up a lot, I made more mistakes than I can even count and that’s the reason why I’m here today is because of the way that I was pushed. I needed to learn a lot about O-line, playing it the right way, doing things the right way and how to be a pro about it.”
--Mike McGlinchey, describing how he developed his game.