Recently, I created the Fred Warner Award, which goes to the 49ers player who improves most in a given year.
Now I'm creating the Mike McGlinchey Award in honor of the player who regresses most in a given year.
No one on the 49ers regressed more than McGlinchey in 2020. He went from being a respectable right tackle who weighed roughly 315 pounds to a glorified blocking tight end who weighed less than 290 pounds. He's still a good run blocker, but he can't hold his ground in pass protection against anyone. Even when he secures a block, he gets pushed into the quarterback's lap.
So who will win the Mike McGlinchey Award this year? Assuming Slim Mike doesn't take it two years in a row.
All49ers writer Nick Newman projects Jimmie Ward in particular and the secondary in general to win the McGlinchey Award in 2021. Newman's reasoning is simple: If the 49ers lose Kerry Hyder, and Nick Bosa doesn't make a full recovery, and the pass rush gets worse, the secondary will get exposed.
Fellow All49ers writer Maverick Pallack projects Hyder to win the McGlinchey Award if he returns in 2021. Because Hyder was a gamebreaker in 2020, a top-20 defensive end in the NFL. He'll have a tough time repeating his stellar performance.
I project Jimmy Garoppolo to win the McGlinchey Award, and here's why:
He can't move anymore. He's a statue. He's losing confidence. And if he returns next season, and the 49ers don't rework his contract, there's a high probability they will lose Trent Williams, meaning one of the worst pass-protecting offensive lines could get even worse. Bad news for Jimmy.
If Garoppolo stays healthy next season, I wouldn't be surprised if he finally gets benched.