We are knee-deep in mock draft season as far as NFL coverage goes. It is one of the biggest phases of the offseason that doesn’t involve crunching a million numbers to figure out the cap implications of releasing and signing various players.
That is where Cody Benjamin from CBS Sports came in and shook things up with a free agency mock draft. He determined the team’s order by who had the most cap space, and it was quite the read. He had an interesting pick for the Cincinnati Bengals, though.
Mike McGlinchey, OT 49ers
Forever in search of a stable O-line for Joe Burrow, the Bengals may part ways with La’el Collins at right tackle, which would open a job for McGlinchey, a 49ers starter of the last five years. While not flawless, with an injury history of his own, McGlinchey has been an above-average blocker when healthy. That counts for a whole lot in the NFL.
All very sound reasoning. It wouldn’t shock anyone that the biggest non-Joe Burrow extension move of this offseason is the team bringing in another veteran offensive lineman to hopefully protect the franchise’s huge investment.
The 49ers also have had one of the best offensive lines for a few seasons. It is one of the main reasons that offense has worked so well despite a turnstile at quarterback. Taking a player from that line isn’t a bad idea at all.
The injury history is something Cincinnati usually tries to avoid in free agents. Them going against that for La’el Collins may reaffirm that line of thinking as well. McGlinchey is 28 years old and in his prime. The Bengals getting him in his prime years is something they love to do, so could go either way there.
It will be interesting to see how the Bengals ultimately address their offensive line issue. The depth was a major issue last season, but few teams will survive losing three starters in consecutive weeks to end the season.
Even prior to the injuries, the line, and looking at Collins mostly, had issues with the better pass rushers in the NFL. You need to be able to pass protect against a great pass rush if you want to win a Super Bowl, and McGlinchey feels like a move closer in that direction.