The pressure on the 49ers to produce in 2022 is immense.
And no player faces more offensive pressure on the 49ers than Trey Lance. But that’s such a cop response. Of course, Lance is going to face a ton of pressure. Quarterbacks always do, especially since he’s taking charge of a playoff-contending team in his first full year starting. However, there is another player I have in mind who isn’t too far off from the immense pressure Lance is facing.
So which 49ers offensive player is under the most pressure in 2022?
Mike McGlinchey easily.
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Entering the fifth year of his rookie contract, it’s “fit or shut up” time for McGlinchey. Throughout his career, McGlinchey has been a solid starter. He excels as a run blocker and is average as a pass blocker. He’s somewhat disappointing for a top-10 draft pick. You’d like your prime offensive tackle to be great for pass protection, but often McGlinchey gives up the big bucks in key moments.
It’s not that he gets beat up often, it’s just the handful he gives up that happens at the worst times and that’s significant. Now that he’s coming off a ripped quad, you have to wonder what kind of shape he’ll be when the regular season rolls around. This is by no means an injury to be ignored. McGlinchey suffered a significant injury. Who knows how he will bounce back and be able to return to normal.
For his own good, he’s going to have to return to his natural form and more. McGlinchey is due for a contract extension at the end of the season. And surely the 49ers will use this season to determine his value. Because of his torn quadriceps, the 49ers probably won’t use as much of his pre-injury performance because an injury like that changes a lot.
In a season where the offensive line is extremely questionable outside of Trent Williams, McGlinchey desperately needs to be this consistent. He needs to be that anchor so the 49ers can make a concerted effort to stabilize the interior. Otherwise, if McGlinchey is in trouble, it could be a long season for Lance.
So much is on McGlinchey’s shoulders this season. No one but Lance faces the mountain of pressure he feels. He needs to produce for his second contract and show that his injury is a thing of the past. Whether or not he’s with the 49ers after this season, he could see himself falling as a viable starter in the league if his performance falters or his injury proves a hindrance.