Though the majority of the fan base is clamoring for the Ravens to draft a wide receiver on day one of the NFL Draft, offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey would a much smarter pick.
The consensus top receiver in this year’s draft class is Alabama’s Calvin Ridley, and many believe it to be a reach to even take him at pick 16. Maryland’s D.J. Moore has garnered first-round buzz in recent months, and given he’s the local kid, fans have thrown his name out at every chance. However, Moore could be an even bigger reach at 16 than Ridley. If it comes down to McGlinchey vs Ridley (or any receiver), Baltimore would be wise to choose McGlinchey. It wouldn’t be exciting, but it would be necessary.
The emergence of Ryan Jensen at center and Austin Howard at right tackle really helped to boost the Ravens’ offensive line in 2017. However, neither player remains on the roster anymore. This leaves the line in a state of flux. In order to compete in 2018, Baltimore must find a solid, starting caliber right tackle. The 2018 tackle class is relatively weak after the first two rounds, so taking the best tackle in the draft at 16 would make a ton of sense for the Ravens. McGlinchey could very well be the best player available at that time, and would fill a huge need.
McGlinchey would join former Notre Dame teammate Ronnie Stanley to form a pair of bookend tackles for years to come in Baltimore.
Kyle J Andrews
When I look at McGlinchey, I see a player who is versatile, lengthy (6’8) and has the ability to add weight to his tall frame (312 lbs). Baltimore has had a history of drafting left tackles in the first round (Jonathan Ogden, Michael Oher and then Stanley), but drafting a right tackle would be different for the Ravens. Different doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad idea.
In an NFL where protecting the passer comes at a premium, drafting McGlinchey proves to fans that they want to keep Flacco and any quarterback of the future upright. One thing that stands out is that McGlinchey is a natural athlete. He has played tight end in the past and he’s quick. That’s a far cry from the stiffness of James Hurst, who’d McGlinchey would probably be competing for a spot with.
As for the receiver position, Flacco has shown success in the past with solid receivers. It’s safe to say that Michael Crabtree and John Brown are a good one-two punch for the Ravens when they are both healthy. Crabtree can command the red zone, a threat that Baltimore hasn’t had since Anquan Boldin was traded. Brown is a shifty and speedy receiver that can get in and out of breaks quickly. They compliment one another.
Not to mention, there will most likely be other very talented receivers and even tight ends to be drafted after the first round. Receivers like Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk, LSU’s D.J. Chark, Notre Dame’s Equanimeous St. Brown, Florida State’s Auden Tate, Memphis’ Anthony Miller, Indiana’s Simmie Cobbs Jr. and Colorado State’s Michael Gallup will probably be sitting in the second or third round for Baltimore to select. On the tight end side, Penn State’s Mike Gesicki, South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst, South Dakota State’s Dallas Goedert and Oklahoma’s Mark Andrews could be available as well.
In a scenario where McGlinchey is selected, he adds versatility to Baltimore’s offensive line. He can play left tackle or right tackle. With Stanley missing five games in his career at left tackle, it’s a possibility that McGlinchey would have to slide over and take his place. Baltimore could then kick Alex Lewis out to right tackle and then place Hurst at left guard, where he started all 16 games at during the 2018 season. They could even add Nico Siragusa to the fray, an offensive lineman that can play the three interior positions.
One thing that McGlinchey can get better with is adding strength. An NFL weight program should allow him to become a more powerful offensive lineman. With that being said, drafting him and placing him next to an anchor in Marshal Yanda will allow him to soak in as much knowledge as possible. As a player that has been a captain, as well as an advanced blocking tactician in college, McGlinchey would be a great fit for Baltimore.