McGlinchey Gives Sky-High Expectations for Transformed Broncos OL

Mike McGlinchey

Getty Former San Francisco 49ers RT Mike McGlinchey speaks to the media ahead of Super Bowl LIV

In 2022, the Denver Broncos not only had one of the worst offensive lines in football, but they had arguably the worst offensive line in team history.

The Broncos gave up 63.0 sacks in 2022 which tied the franchise record for most sacks allowed in a season dating back to 1963. This made the Broncos realize that they needed to upgrade at left guard and right tackle.

Newly acquired right tackle Mike McGlinchey thinks things will be different in a good way for the Denver offensive line this season.

“I think the skies could be the limit for our group. We have two guards that are as big and quick and powerful as probably anyone in the NFL. I certainly believe in the two tackles that we have here that we can be upper echelon and always playing to be the top in the league. Lloyd [Cushenberry] is doing a great job so far too.”

Last season Denver lost their All-Pro left tackle Garett Bolles to a broken leg after appearing in just five games. The Broncos were also hoping that Billy Turner was going to be more impactful, but he only appeared in eight games after suffering a knee injury.

In the offseason, the Broncos knew they needed to upgrade the offensive line, so they went out and signed Ben Powers to play left guard and McGlinchey to play right tackle. Combined, the Broncos spent $81 million guaranteed on the two free agent offensive linemen.

Does Mike McGlinchey Fit Sean Payton’s System?

Broncos head coach Sean Payton has become one of the smartest offensive minds in the NFL and runs an elite spread offense.

Former Broncos right tackle Orlando Franklin was also asked by his former teammate Brandon Stokley on 104.3 The Fan in Denver, if the former Notre Dame standout will fit into Payton’s system.

“I think they’re going to run what we ran here with Peyton (Manning) before Gary Kubiak got here. A lot more power, a lot more move guys vertical off the line of scrimmage and you’ll sprinkle in your mid-zone to your wide-zone stuff. That being said, I think Mike McGlinchey struggles. The good thing about him, he’s a young player, like I said everything is there he’s just yet to put it together every single day.”

Broncos Have Struggled Finding a Right Tackle Since 2014

After the Broncos lost to the Seattle Seahawks in the 2014 Super Bowl, Denver decided to make a change at the right tackle position. Franklin would be moved over to left guard and was replaced by Chris Clark.

Since Franklin, who was named to the Broncos’ All-Decade Team of the 2010s, the Broncos have started 19 different players at right tackle. Only seven of them started in at least 10 games with Elijah Wilkinson leading the way at 19 starts.

The Broncos have tried to draft and develop offensive linemen to solve that position, but have failed. Denver has signed veteran free agents that could hold down the position for the year, but that never worked out either.

Even in 2019, the Broncos went out and made former Miami Dolphins right tackle Ja’Wuan James the highest-paid right tackle of all time by giving him a four-year deal worth $51 million.

James would end up playing in only three games for the Broncos before being released in May of 2021.

With the big contract of McGlinchey, Denver hopes that under a new regime, they can finally say they’ve fixed their issue at right tackle.

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