The 49ers are not experiencing any buyer’s remorse with their 2018 decision to select right tackle Mike McGlinchey with the No. 9 overall draft pick.
In fact, coach Kyle Shanahan doubled down on Wednesday, saying he and general manager John Lynch would do the same thing all over again.
“McGlinchey played very good, winning football for us last year,” Shanahan said. “I do not think he’s the reason we’re struggling. I think it’s a collective deal. I’m very happy with McGlinchey here, and I know John and I would do that all over again, if we had the choice to.”
Shanahan’s comments suggest the 49ers will pick up the fifth-year option on McGlinchey for the 2022 season – or even look to sign him to a contract extension.
McGlinchey rates as the No. 3-ranked run-blocking right tackle in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. But among the 32 right tackles who have played 400 snaps or more this season, McGlinchey is graded No. 26 as a pass blocker.
The focus on McGlinchey intensified on Sunday when his holding penalty against Washington edge rusher Montez Sweat nullified Nick Mullens’ pass to Kendrick Bourne to the Washington 22-yard line. The late-game drive stalled after McGlinchey’s penalty in the 49ers’ 23-15 loss.
Shanahan said McGlinchey is firmly entrenched as the team’s starting right tackle.
“Mike McGlinchey is our right tackle and I feel very good about our right tackle,” Shanahan said.
“Do I think he’s playing the best he can? No. I (understand) the attention he got, especially getting that holding call on the last play and getting beat on protection there, but (he was) also going against a good rusher. That doesn’t excuse it, but I’m not going to sit and make a huge judgment off of that.”
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In 2018, the 49ers selected McGlinchey and immediately traded then-right tackle Trent Brown to the New England Patriots.
The next players drafted after McGlinchey, in order, were quarterback Josh Rosen (Arizona), defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (Miami), defensive tackles Vita Vea (Tampa Bay) and Daron Payne (Washington), defensive end Marcus Davenport and offensive tackle Kolton Miller (Raiders).
“We’re happy with what McGlinchey does for us,” Shanahan said. “I think he does a very good job in the run game, really almost as good as anyone. I think he’s getting better in the pass game. By no means do I not think he can be a very good tackle for us, whether it’s right side or left side.”
Shanahan said he also likes McGlinchey’s attention to detail and his mental approach. He said he expects McGlinchey to continue to improve as he learns from his mistakes.
“I think he’ll step back big this week and I think this will lead to a better season and Year 4 for him,” Shanahan said.