No. 2: Offensive Tackle Joe Staley
Mike McGlinchey is one of the better storylines for San Francisco this season, sure. But he’s still being outplayed by his mentor, veteran left tackle Joe Staley.
Even at 34 years old, Staley continues to play at a high level and remains an anchor for a vastly improved 49ers offensive line. His 79.4 overall Pro Football Focus grade is a full point higher than McGlinchey, and Staley is far more balanced in both run blocking and pass protection.
To compare, Staley has allowed just two sacks and seven quarterback hurries on the year, compared to McGlinchey’s three and 11, respectively.
While the Niners will have to start thinking about finding a quality starting offensive tackle soon, expecting McGlinchey to take over Staley’s spot on the left at some point, Shanahan can take some comfort knowing this bookend pair is capable of playing at a high level throughout the rest of 2018.
And with Staley showing no signs of letting up, it’s possible that plan can continue into 2019 as well.