For the first time in a few seasons there is real buzz surrounding the San Fransisco 49ers. The addition of a new quarterback (Jimmy Garoppolo) has the San Fransisco area holding its collective breath that he may be the guy who brings them back into the upper echelons of the football elite. In the 2018 NFL Draft the 49ers made no qualms about their plans to boast a high powered offense this season under offensive guru and head coach Kyle Shanahan. Their first two selections: Mike McGlinchey (Tackle – University of Notre Dame) and Dante Pettis (Wide Receiver – University of Washington) will give Garoppolo an even stronger supporting cast.
McGlinchey seemed to be the one prospect that rockets up the draft board at the last minute, and with the #9 overall pick San Fran’s front office took the plunge drafting the 6’8 behemoth. While he may not waltz into the starting Left Tackle position on day one, McGlinchey will still compete for playing time right away. Perhaps more importantly, he seems to be a long term answers on the offensive line. Certainly, 49ers fans will be hoping he and Garoppolo will be productive teammates together for a long time.
While McGlinchey is a massive offensive lineman, Dante Pettis is practically the exact opposite. A total speed threat but a bit undersized, Pettis is a hit or miss prospect that could very well be a league leader in yards per catch one day. Considered a leader on the Huskies team, Pettis plays with a lot of heart and will likely get looks as potentially the starting punt returner for the 49ers in his rookie year. His nine career punt return touchdowns in college are an impressive testament to his speed.
It’s easy to look at McGlinchey and Pettis as thunder and lightning — and with the first two picks, what more could you ask for? Clearly the 49ers front office felt satisfied with their work on the offensive side of the ball, as they did not pick a offensive player again until the seventh round. Going forward, these two are some of the rookies I have on my must-watch list.