3 reasons why 49ers offensive line is strongest position in 2021

Center Weston Richburg #58 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Center Weston Richburg #58 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Mike McGlinchey, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey (69) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2: 49ers should see improvement from Mike McGlinchey

If there was one reason why many fans think the Niners offensive line isn’t a top team strength heading into 2021, it would be right tackle Mike McGlinchey.

True, McGlinchey dealt with his share of struggles last year, particularly in the pass-protection department, earning a Pro Football Focus grade of 58.3 here while being credited with 37 pressures allowed.

While McGlinchey’s 91.3 run-blocking grade falls into the elite category, it’s not likely he’ll earn favor from the fanbase until he shows improvement in pass protection.

A couple of positives here, however.

Read More: 3 Niners players guaranteed to be better in 2021

For starters, McGlinchey has reportedly bulked up during the offseason in an attempt to prevent him from being bull-rushed by bigger pass-rushers off the outside. On top of that, one might excuse McGlinchey to an extent last year for having to deal with an array of different guards to his immediate left.

Daniel Brunskill, Colton McKivitz, Tom Compton and Justin Skule all played extensive snaps at right guard, and most NFL pundits understand developing chemistry with fellow linemen is essential in determining a unit’s overall effectiveness.

Assuming Aaron Banks, McGlinchey’s former teammate at Notre Dame, wins the starting right guard job out of training camp, that’ll hopefully allow the consistency McGlinchey didn’t have last year, thereby shoring up one of this unit’s bigger weaknesses heading into 2021.