SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers signed quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a $137.5 million contract in February.
On the first night of the NFL Draft, the organization took out an insurance policy.
The 49ers used the No. 9 overall pick Thursday night to add Notre Dame right tackle Mike McGlinchey. The club selected him over pass-rusher Marcus Davenport, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. The 49ers opted to strengthen Garoppolo's supporting cast on offense.
“This was a guy, and last week, we decided that if he's there at nine, he's the guy we're taking,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said of McGlinchey.
The addition of McGlinchey indicates the 49ers have no intention of retaining right tackle Trent Brown, who has one season remaining on his contract. Pro Football Talk reported Friday morning the 49ers are discussing a possible trade of Brown to the New England Patriots.
Lynch said the addition of McGlinchey has short-term and long-term benefits. He will work at right tackle, along with Garry Gilliam, during the offseason program. McGlinchey could also switch to left tackle when Joe Staley’s career comes to an end. Coach Kyle Shanahan said McGlinchey will have to earn his starting job, though.
It is clear the 49ers believe McGlinchey will leave no doubt that he will be a starter from Week 1.
The 49ers decided early in the draft process that McGlinchey gave them everything they wanted with their top pick. The organization’s only contact with him came during a 15-minute formal interview at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in February. After that, the 49ers gave him the silent treatment.
“There's some people who command a room and who own a room,” Lynch said. “I think there were probably two guys that stood out from the pack. We have 60 interviews at the combine and he was a guy that came in and just kind of owned the room, and everyone felt it.
“It wasn't just me. Kyle felt that way. Our coaches that were in the room felt that way, our scouts in the room. He's got a special presence to him. He's real. He's authentic, and he's a badass. And we like that.”
McGlinchey (6-foot-8, 315 pounds) impressed the 49ers with a commitment to the game that the 49ers remain unconvinced Brown possesses. Brown is currently rehabbing from a shoulder surgery that will keep him out for the entire offseason program.
“To me what separates Mike from everyone else is the person you're getting,” Shanahan said. “It always starts with the film, always, and he has that ability. He has that talent. But, the soldier, how committed he is to football -- his football character. He's an O-Lineman who has started 39 straight games. I'm sure he has some injuries, but we haven't seen it because he doesn't talk about them and he just plays.”
McGlinchey is the first tackle the 49ers have selected in the first round since Anthony Davis (No. 10 overall) in 2010. Staley was a first-round pick (No. 28) in 2007.
“Lots of people are looking for tackles, and they are very hard to find,” Shanahan said. “We felt that we had an opportunity to get the best tackle in the draft, and I think a lot of people in the league felt that way.
“When you're in that situation, a lot of people are desperate for him, and that's why you have to keep it somewhat of a secret because people will jump you and take them because they are limited. So you don't find many sleepers later in the draft when you're talking about that position.”
Shanahan was so determined to not allow word to get out of the 49ers’ interest in McGlinchey that he did not even contact his first cousin, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, to ask any questions. Shanahan was Atlanta's offensive coordinator in 2015 and '16.
“I didn't want to blow our cover,” Shanahan said. “We haven't talked to Mike since the combine, and I definitely would have checked in with Matt if we were worried about something. But we felt very good about the guy and the person. I got a text right from Matt after we drafted him.
“But, trust me, I had to keep it a secret.”
Lynch said one of his learning moments in his first year in his position with the 49ers was the Week 8 game against the Philadelphia Eagles when Brown was out with an injury and Gilliam, his backup, sustained a season-ending knee injury early in the second quarter. Zane Beadles entered at right tackle and moved to left tackle when Joe Staley sustained a fractured orbital bone. Undrafted rookie guard Erik Magnuson was forced into action at right tackle.
“I think a great lesson for me,” Lynch said. “It will scar me for life, really.”