The 49ers player most needed healthy in 2022

Several players on the 49ers roster need to bounce back and have an impactful year for San Francisco to have a successful season. Names such as Javon Kinlaw, Trey Sermon, Tarvarius Moore, and Jeff Wilson Jr are a few that come to mind right away. However, another player’s return from injury will have a more significant impact.

This offseason, San Francisco lost two starters along the offensive line in left guard Laken Tomlinson and center Alex Mack. Their expected replacements, Aaron Banks and Jake Brendel have a combined three starts in the NFL, making them big question marks.

The uncertainty inside makes Mike McGlinchey the player the 49ers most need to have a successful bounce-back season in 2022. The last thing they need is to have another question in front of Trey Lance as he takes over at quarterback.

San Francisco has good depth along the offensive line and has shown they can get the job done without their top players on the field. They went 8-1 in 2019 with Justin Skule and Daniel Brunskill filling in at left tackle in place of Joe Staley, and last season they went on a run over the second half to make the playoffs with Tom Compton filling in at right tackle.

Despite the successful record, having McGlinchey on the field led to better pass protection and run blocking production.

McGlinchey had a solid start to his 2021 campaign when he was lost for the season with a torn quad tendon in his right leg in week nine against Arizona. While the veteran right tackle is often thought of as a better run blocker than a pass blocker, it was in pass protection that his loss showed up the most.

Over the first eight-plus games of the season with McGlinchey on the field, 49ers quarterbacks were sacked only 4.9% of the time they dropped back to pass, which was among the lowest in the league. This number climbed to 7% following McGlinchey’s injury.

As the numbers suggest, having Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey on the field to bookend the offensive line will go a long way to helping the less experienced players inside. 

This article has 9 Comments

  1. Agree that McGlinchey is the most important bounce-back player in the coming season. jack’s analysis is compelling for me.

  2. Jack
    A joint practices on August 1st between the 9ers and Vikings is an opportunity to see the 9ers get some live work against an NFL team that made it to the NFC Championship game.

    1. Those joint practices will be taking place prior to the 49ers game in Minnesota in week 2 of the preseason and won’t be televised.

  3. The McLaurin contract extension will likely move Deebos’ extension to $24 -$25 Mil P/Y. So if Deebo gets his salary extended for ~$25 Mil in 2023, trading, JG should cover Deebo’s $25 Mil.
    * Then where do the 9ers find the money to extend Bosa, who’ll have 2 years left on his contract after a fifth-year option for 2023? Nick Bosa’s older brother, Joey Bosa, signed a five-year, $135 million extension averaging $27 million per year with $102 million in overall guarantees and $78 million fully guaranteed at signing.

    * Mike McGlinchey’s $10,880,000 salary likely means he won’t be back for the 2023 season and could be replaced by Spencer Burford. If Glinch is slow to recover, don’t be surprised if the 9ers replace him with Burford this season!
    * Cutting Dee Ford will add ~$2.4 Mil
    * Samson Ebukam’s $8,250,000 salary will also make him dispensable, especially if Drake Jackson is as good as JL thinks he is.

  4. Geep makes sense to me. But I really cringe at these salaries. I am studying as a freshman to be a teacher and will never make a dime to speak of. I know, Bosa got the market
    rate but..civilization has its value.

  5. I tend to agree. The 49ers need McGlinchey to play well. I really do hope he is able to return to form but a torn quad tendon is one of the most difficult injuries from which to return. That injury can be a career ender. McGlinchey seems like a really good dude so I’m rooting for him.

  6. The 49ers should offer Mike McGlinchey an extension now. I believe he’s going to become a Pro Bowl-caliber RT this season.

    1. Otto
      McGlinchey played well in 2018, his rookie season, but battled some injuries in 2019. In 2020 he had an up-and-down season as a good run blocker, but struggled in pass protection. Then he injured his quad week 9 last year. An extension may happen, but will require an excellent 2022 season to justify his $ 10.88 Mil salary and earn a long-term deal (and a salary increase), to stay in SF.

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