Learn more about newly signed right tackle Mike McGlinchey and his journey to Denver with these five facts:
1. His family includes another NFL star in cousin Matt Ryan
As a kid in elementary school, McGlinchey would often travel up to Boston to watch his cousin play for Boston College.
That cousin — future NFL MVP Matt Ryan — would soon become the third-overall pick and then a star quarterback. And to McGlinchey, Ryan was an idol.
"All I ever did was try to be like Matt in every way I could," McGlinchey said in 2019. "I would watch his interviews. I would watch everything about Matt. Maybe I just adopted the way he did things because he always did them the right way. It's pretty easy to learn from a guy like him."
In fact, McGlinchey hoped to even follow in his footsteps as a quarterback — that is, until he ran into another star athlete at Radio City Music Hall on Ryan's draft day.
"We met Jake Long, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the draft that year," McGlinchey said. "[Ryan's brother Michael] said, 'If you do what you need to do, in 10 years, you're going to look like that.'
"My cousin called the right shot. I put my hand in the dirt, and it worked out from there."
2. He was always big for his age
At 6-foot-8, McGlinchey is one of the larger players in the NFL and one of the tallest players in Broncos history.
That height can at times be an advantage, but growing up it could be an obstacle.
According to the 49ers’ PR bio for McGlinchey, his parents would bring his birth certificate to basketball games in case anyone questioned his age because of his size.
"Later, at age eight," the 49ers wrote, "he was hoping to make his debut in youth football, but decided against it after the league's directors told his family they would have to place him on a team with eight and ninth graders due to his size."
However, with his father being 5-foot-11 and his mother standing 5-foot-8, he joked that his size "must have been a genetic mutation."
"He was always a monster," Ryan said in 2019. "I remember as a baby, you were just like, 'Gosh, this kid is big.'"
In high school, that size worked to his advantage on the football field. And even as a junior, he had already largely filled out his frame as "a 6-8, 285-pound behemoth who is one of the top junior lineman recruits in the country," as a local reporter wrote in 2011.
3. He was a consensus All-American and part of the best offensive line in 2017
In his final collegiate season, McGlinchey helped the Fighting Irish to a 10-3 record and Citrus Bowl win over LSU as the left tackle on one of the best offensive lines in recent memory.
The unit won the Joe Moore Award, which is given to the best offensive line in college football, and McGlinchey was a key part of that group. Voted a consensus All-American, McGlinchey was also the second-highest-rated tackle in the country by Pro Football Focus. In pass protection, he allowed just three sacks and two quarterback hits that season. In the run game, he was even better, as he helped pave the way for college football's seventh-best rushing attack.
The whole group was an exceptional one, as each of the six biggest contributors that season went on to play in the NFL. One of their reserves also would go on to play at the next level, too.
"The thing voters felt separated Notre Dame's O-line this year from the other deserving units was their technique and how they consistently finished their blocks," Chairman of the Joe Moore Award voting committee Cole Cubelic said. "As impressive as the other Finalists and Semi-Finalists were, no one consistently finished blocks in 2017 like Notre Dame, and that really seemed to make the difference this year in the eyes of the voters."
Follow new Broncos tackle Mike McGlinchey from his college days at Notre Dame to starting his NFL career with theSan Francisco 49ers.
4. He was the ninth-overall pick in 2019 and an All-Rookie Team selection
After departing Notre Dame, McGlinchey didn't have to wait long to hear his name called by Roger Goodell.
With the 49ers on the clock at No. 9, they opted to bulk up their line and took McGlinchey.
"He's got a special presence to him," 49ers GM John Lynch said after selecting the tackle. "He's real. He's authentic. And he's a badass. We like that."
In his first NFL season, McGlinchey played and started all 16 games and returned to right tackle, where he's stayed at the NFL level. He was one of just 11 right tackles that year who played at least 1,000 offensive snaps at the position, according to Pro Football Focus.
For his work, he was named to the Pro Football Writers of America's All-Rookie Team. He also was picked by ESPN reporter Nick Wagoner as the NFC West Rookie of the Year.
"The immediate returns on McGlinchey have been positive, particularly in the area most expected, the run game," Wagoner wrote. "For what it's worth, Pro Football Focus rates McGlinchey as one of the best run-blocking tackles in the league, and the statistics are there to support it."
5. He has supported his family through My Cause My Cleats
In each of his five NFL seasons, McGlinchey has utilized his platform through the My Cause My Cleats campaign to show support for two members of his family.
His first three years, he chose Autism Speaks to lift up his brother, Jimmy, and other people with autism, along with their families.
"It means the world to me, and Jimmy, he's a rock and the light of our family, and he always has been," McGlinchey told a local radio station in 2018. "It means the world to me that I'm able to physically represent him not only with the name on my back but with his name on my shoes. It's cool for our family. Jimmy is our favorite guy. He's the best part of our family, and he keeps us all grounded.
"Growing up with him was nothing but the best. He gives us all perspective on how to truly enjoy and what's truly important about life. Like I said, I couldn't be more proud to be representing that cause, and for him, and for my family."
The past two years, McGlinchey has worked to shed more light on organ donation on behalf of Donor Network West and his cousin Dan McCain.
In 2016, McGlinchey spoke about McCain: "He had a physical disability because he was born with a heart and lung defect that inhibited his growth as a human being. Doctors were saying he wasn't going to live past 5 and then 10 and then 15 and now he's 25 and he's kicking life's (butt)."