Yesterday was the first round of the 2018 NFL draft. The Cleveland Browns did their best to be the standard Browns and shook up the top of the draft, with Baker Mayfield and CB Ward at 4. Then Chubb fell to the Broncos at 5, at that point we knew the draft was set to get CRAZY.
Fast forward to Number 9. The San Francisco 49ers are on the clock, and they take... Mike McGlinchey, Tackle Notre Dame. Collectively, 49ers fans sent out shockwaves of WHO?
If you pay attention to mock drafts which, damn near everyone does, while forgetting that these are OPINION pieces and have no direct relation to ANYTHING the draft rooms have planned, the 49ers were penciled in with Trumaine Edmunds, Roquan Smith, or Minah Fitzpatrick since early in Mocks.
This made many 49ers fans pretty upset as it was clearly not a "Sexy Name", hell an offensive lineman in the first is NEVER a sexy name. Not one of the potentially marquee defensive players that nearly every "Expert" had them taking. It seems though, that many 49ers fans, while caught up in the mocks forgot a few important factors leading up to these projections.
Reuben Foster, up until about 2 days before the draft was set to kick off, was facing potentially 11 years in prison with Felony charges stemming from a February Domestic Violence incident. This cleary made LB a high priority, for a team set to lose their center piece on defense. Those charges are seemingly being dropped with new information coming out from the accuser. This allowed the 49ers to shift focus back to a true need.
If you go back to the EARLY mocks, the 49ers were slated to be drafting Nelson from Notre Dame, arguably the best OL in the draft, Niners fans, often posting on social media ideas on how to trade up to 6 with the Colts to insure this OL. The clock simply was rolled back and so many already forgot the plan.
This move makes sense, protect your new $137m man, in Jimmy G. Give him time to operate, give McKinnon a chance to run free, let your receivers have time to execute Shanahans' routes and schemes, this move makes sense.
Now the question, why so early? Well all reports on draft day indicate that the Raiders at 10, were now set to take McGlinchey, and the Niners had to make a decision. This was made clear by the fact the raiders traded back and took their own OL at 15.
Lynch and Shanahan know what they are doing, it is going to be fine, this draft is DEEP at LB, CB and WR, the Niners will be potentially adding another 2nd round pick as they explore a trade with the Patriots for Brown.
Breath, faithful this is going to work out just fine. Without this protection, Jimmy could be out early, and well we would be singing a whole new song and blaming Lynch for not protecting our future.