Career Recap: McGlinchey could have been the closest thing to a franchise left tackle in the 2017 NFL Draft, but he decided to return for his senior year. The junior wouldn't have been one of the best tackle prospects to come out in years, but he was a very good prospect with upside to be an impact left tackle. McGlinchey would have been a safer pick than the two tackles that went in the first round as both Denver's Garett Bolles and New Orleans' Ryan Ramczyk were only one-year starters in college. McGlinchey has impressed over the past two seasons as a starter for Notre Dame.
McGlinchey broke into starting lineup during his sophomore year, putting together an impressive season as a pass protector at right tackle. He showed nice athleticism and the strength to open holes in the ground game.
In 2016, McGlinchey took over at left tackle with Ronnie Stanley moving on to the NFL. McGlinchey had a fine season protecting DeShone Kizer and opening holes in the ground game. The one consistent mistake that McGlinchey was prone to was repeated false start penalties.
2017 Season Outlook: McGlinchey is going to take on some quality opponents and a few potential first-round pass rushers in his final season of college football. In Week 2, Notre Dame will play Georgia, and the Bulldogs have some good young talent on their defense. In Week 3, McGlinchey will be tested with Boston College edge rusher Harold Landry. Last year, Landry notched 16.5 sacks and seven forced fumbles. Shutting down Landry would be helpful for McGlinchey's draft grade.
In the middle of October, USC will visit Notre Dame, and the Trojans have an edge defender Porter Gustin, who will challenge McGlinchey. A week later, McGlinchey could take on a potential first-rounder in N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb. Chubb recorded 10.5 sacks, 58 tackles, and 22 tackles for a loss last season. The Wolfpack have other good talents on their defensive line, too, so they will be a test for McGlinchey.
A week after facing Chubb, McGlinchey could see another early round pick in Wake Forest's Duke Ejiofor. He had 10.5 sacks last year and will be a tough assignment in early November. In the final weeks of the season, McGlinchey will see some good talents from Miami and Stanford.
Skill-Set Summary: The passing-driven nature of the NFL makes having a rock-solid left tackle to protect the quarterback a necessity for any successful aerial offense. While defenses move their pass-rushers around, having the cornerstone blocker of a standout left tackle makes the rest of the offensive line's job easier with double-team help being an option for other blockers. Edge protectors are always in demand, and McGlinchey should be a top left tackle candidate for the 2018 NFL Draft.
As a run blocker, McGlinchey can get movement at the point of attack. He flashes heavy hands to push defenders out of their gaps and open holes for his back. McGlinchey has strength to start out his NFL career at right tackle and be a plus run blocker. Many NFL teams have right-handed rushing attacks, so putting a finesse, tap-dancing college left tackle on the right side can be a detriment to the ground game. However, McGlinchey has the flexibility to play the right side and be a contributor in the rushing offense.
In pass protection, McGlinchey looked like a natural at left tackle in his first year as a starter. McGlinchey shows excellent feet to get depth in his kick slide and cut off speed rushers. He also displays a nice ability to bend at the knee, and that in combination with his feet, keeps him from having to reach after edge rushers. McGlinchey has nice recoverability and has been able to keep pressures from becoming sacks.
The one consistent problem McGlinchey has is a lot of false start penalties. In speaking with some NFL sources, they felt that issue was correctable. McGlinchey was receiving first-round grades from teams before deciding to return for his senior year.
McGlinchy's performance has given evidence that he is a future starting left tackle in the NFL and a first-round pick. I think McGlinchey could be a good starting left tackle with Pro Bowl potential.
2018 NFL Draft Expectations: If McGlinchey plays at the same level in 2017 as he did last year, he should be a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.