Mike McGlinchey is one of the most controversial players on the 49ers.
The former top-10 draft pick has not lived up to his draft status. Yes, he is superb as a run blocker, but his talent as a pass protector is uninspiring to say the least. For a player drafted as high as he was, he has to be a strong pass blocker. That is the moneymaker for every offensive lineman in the league.
McGlinchey entered 2020 slimmed down, so perhaps bulking up and brushing up on his technique with a chip on his shoulder this upcoming season will be the key for him to bounce back. It begs the question to ask: will McGlinchey improve in 2021?
I asked Ted Nguyen of The Athletic his thoughts on this question in my interview with him.
"Yeah I mean, I think he even regressed last season," said Nguyen. "So, you know I think he'd looked more solid in in years past. I didn't study him that hard last season, but in the games I did watch it looked like he got worse. And I would not expect him to play like that again I think he will get better. I don't know if he'll ever be that, you know, top-tier pass blocking right tackle. But I do think he'll show some improvement from last season. I thought last season was an irregularity, but I think he will play better."
2020 was certainly an irregularity for the 49ers given all of the injuries that would hit them in bunches week after week. It is why in that scenario when the 49ers needed a proven player to step up, McGlinchey had to be that guy, especially taking over the captain duties with Joe Staley retiring. Not only did he shirk away from that, he stiff-armed a lot of accountability. He was practically being insecure about the handful of moments he was getting laid out like Deebo from the movie "Friday."
2021 should give way to a new wind for McGlinchey. I agree with Ted here that McGlinchey will improve. In fact, he will massively bounce back. McGlinchey needed this offseason to hit the reset button. It looked more like his woes stemmed from the mental aspect. I mean, he took to twitter to take a shot at his critics by saying "still here," then immediately went dark after some poor performances.
McGlinchey just needs to focus on his game and use that as a means to tell everyone "still here" and not twitter. He can do it. I believe he will as he needs the next two seasons to build a case for a sweet contract extension with the 49ers, or just as a free agent should he make it there.