Two players from the Philadelphia area were first at their position to be selected and each landed in the first round during Thursday’s first day of the NFL draft. Neither situation was a surprise.
Notre Dame offensive tackle and Penn Charter graduate Mike McGlinchey was the ninth overall player selected, going to the San Francisco 49ers.
Maryland receiver D.J. Moore, a former star at Imhotep, was the first-round selection of the Carolina Panthers, 24th overall.
While many of the projected first-round picks attended the draft in Arlington, Texas, McGlinchey and Moore decided to stay closer to home.
McGlinchey was with about 150 of his closest family and friends at Giuseppe’s Restaurant in Richboro, Pa.
When he received the call, McGlinchey told reporters he had no idea that the 49ers would be selecting him. He did not make a pre-draft visit to San Francisco but did have a formal interview with the 49ers at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“It’s definitely a shock, but absolutely thrilled to be part of the San Francisco 49ers organization and my family and I couldn’t be happier,” he said in a conference call.
One relative who wasn’t able to attend the draft party was fellow Penn Charter graduate and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who is McGlinchey’s cousin.
McGlinchey said Ryan wasn’t able to attend his draft party because his wife recently gave birth to twins, but the Falcons QB kept in constant touch with his cousin.
“He’s been calling me and texting me all day, making sure I’m OK,” McGlinchey said. “He’s given me all the support I needed …”
The 6-8, 308-pound McGlinchey, who started 39 consecutive games at Notre Dame, is expected to compete for a spot at right tackle, opposite veteran left tackle Joe Staley.
Moore (6-foot, 210) enjoyed an outstanding junior season in 2017, despite playing with four quarterbacks. He was named the Big Ten receiver of the year after recording 80 receptions for 1,033 yards and eight touchdowns. For his career, he had 146 receptions for 2,027 yards and 18 total TDs, 17 receiving and one rushing.
He watched the draft with family and friends at Dave & Buster’s in Philadelphia.
His initial reaction?
“I’m ecstatic. I am happy. Cried a little, but I’m happy,” he said on a conference call.
Moore said that being the first receiver selected was just icing on the cake.
“It feels great,” he said. “Just to know that whatever I did in college didn’t go unnoticed to the coaching staff.”
Former Carolina Panthers star receiver and current NFL Network analyst Steve Smith had the highest of praise for Moore.
“If you really want to know the truth on how I feel, they [the Panthers] have never been able to replace me, until today,” Smith said on NFL Network’s draft coverage. “D.J. Moore will be at that organization for a long time and I look forward to talking about him on the network.”
Panthers coach Ron Rivera didn’t take those comments lightly.
“For Steve to say that, that’s great praise. I’m pretty fired up,” Rivera said. “I really do like who he is as a football player for us.”
Rivera told the media that quarterback Cam Newton texted the coach his reaction to the pick: “Thank you.”
Moore is expected to compete for immediate playing time. One of his new teammates is Torrey Smith, who had 36 receptions for 430 yards and two TDs in his only season with the Super Bowl champion Eagles.
Torrey Smith gave his new teammate some prudent advice on the draft process.
“His advice was, just have fun with the whole process and understand that it is a business,” Moore said, “but just have fun at the same time.”
Over the last two days, Moore and McGlinchey have surely had their share of fun.