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Bronco roster review: Offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey

What to expect from the Denver Broncos’ biggest free agent signing of the offseason, offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey?

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NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve written a fair amount about Mike McGlinchey previously and about how he should fit with what Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton likes to do with his offensive line.

Check them out:

Blowing it - using blown blocks as a measure of a bad game for offensive line players

Sean Payton’s offensive lines

Sean Payton’s Offense - and more about his offensive lines

Player Profile

Height: 6’8” | Weight: 315 pounds | Age: 28 years old

Experience: 6th Season

2022 Statistics

McGlinchey played in all 17 regular season games from the 49ers in 2022 which saw him play on 94% of the offensive snaps. He had an overall PFF grade of 71.5 for the 2022 season.

San Francisco 49ers v Denver Broncos Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

How does Mike McGlinchey fit with the Denver Broncos?

After struggling for about a decade to find a competent right tackle, the hope in Denver is that Mike McGlinchey is that guy who will finally solidify the position. According to Mike McGlinchey signed a 5 year, $87.5MM contract with the Denver Broncos, including a $17.5MM signing bonus, $52.5MM guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $17.5. In 2023, McGlinchey will earn a base salary of $2.5MM and a signing bonus of $17.5MM, while carrying a cap hit of only $6.0MM.

Mike committed ten penalties in 2022 and allowed six sacks according to PFF. Six of his penalties were holding penalties. Three were false starts.

By most accounts Mike is a great run blocker who can struggle against good and elite edge defenders, particularly shorter ones, in pass protection. According to Mike had 25 blown blocks in the passing game last season and only 7 in the run game in 2022.

Mike McGlinchey has played in 69 games in his NFL career, starting all of them. He has 118 blown blocks in those 69 games. He has had ten “bad games” during his career in terms of blown blocks (4 or more blown blocks is a bad game for an offensive lineman).

If that sounds like a high rate of bad games, that’s because it is. For comparison, Ryan Ramczyk has started 89 games and had only one bad game. Lane Johnson has had three bad games in 127 starts. Ten in 69 is pretty bad.

Lane Johnson, who had a great season in 2022, had a total of 11 blown blocks. His high in any game in 2022 was two and in six of his 15 starts, he had zero blown blocks. For comparison, McGlinchey had four games with zero blown blocks in 2022, but he was much less consistent than Johnson. Johnson’s consistency (and his amazingly quick reflexes) might be why he has twice been named first team All-Pro. Johnson’s worst season for blown blocks was 23 in 2017. McGlinchey’s best season in terms of blown block rate was 2022 in which he had 22 blown blocks in 17 starts. In other words, McGlinchey’s best season is comparable to Johnson’s worst.

Cameron Fleming, who started nine games for the Broncos at RT in 2022 (and six games at LT), had zero bad games. Billy Turner, who started 6 at RT, had zero bad games (although he did have two games with three blown blocks). Fleming only had one game with three blown blocks in 2022 (the win over McGlinchey’s 49ers).

Final Thoughts

Our hopes for McGlinchey rest on the ability of Zach Strief and Sean Payton to get the best out of their linemen. By the available metrics Mike will be getting paid like an elite right tackle, but he does not compare to other elite right tackles. His average contract value makes him the 7th highest paid RT in the league, but most of the others around him have been much more consistent during their careers than Mike.