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Vikings Select Pittsburgh T Brian O'Neill In Round 2

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The Vikings on Friday selected Pittsburgh tackle Brian O'Neill with the 62nd overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.

O'Neill started all 12 games at left tackle in 2017 to earn a First-Team All-ACC selection by conference coaches and the Associated Press. He started 37 consecutive games to finish his college career after beginning with the Panthers as a tight end. O'Neill rushed three times for 39 yards and two touchdowns.

Listed at 6-foot-7 and 297 pounds, O'Neill has been praised for his athleticism.

He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.82 seconds and the 3-cone drill in 7.14 seconds to lead all offensive linemen at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. Click here for O'Neill's Prospect Profile.

O'Neill was Delaware High School Defensive Player of the Year and the state's basketball Player of the Year.

The selection of O'Neill was announced by former defensive tackle Keith Millard, who was selected to the 50 Greatest Vikings.

Player Bio

O'Neill's athleticism helped him win honors as Delaware High School Defensive Player of the Year (five sacks, 13 pass deflections, also 33 receptions, 614 yards, and eight touchdowns as a tight end) in football and the state's basketball Player of the Year award. His talent came as no surprise since his father was a running back at Dartmouth and his mother a swimmer at Northeastern University. O'Neill was a tight end during his redshirt season in 2014 and the following spring but moved over to offensive tackle before the 2015 season. He played in all 13 games, starting the final 12 (one at left tackle, the rest at right tackle). O'Neill continued his improvement on the line, starting all 13 games at right tackle and earning second-team All-ACC from league coaches. Injuries on the line caused him to move to left tackle for his junior season, where he started all 12 games and garnered first-team all-conference honors. Pitt coaches used O'Neill' athleticism as an offensive weapon as a rusher (two scores, one on a lateral and the other on an end-around) and passer (0-for-2). He won the satirical "Piesman Trophy" in 2016 for one of his touchdowns.

Overview

O'Neill has good length and is a terrific athlete, but his inconsistencies at the Senior Bowl practices will be hard for teams to get out of their minds. What might be even more troubling is the way he seemed to panic and lose technique in certain matchups. O'Neill is a classic zone scheme blocker, but teams may take a look at him as a move guard with tackle potential rather than locking in with him as a blind-side tackle. O'Neill needs to get thicker and stronger or swing tackle could be his ceiling.

Strengths

-Good arm length

-Athletic and fluid as a move blocker

-Good lateral quickness and able to race ahead of the pack on pull blocks and screens

-Redirects weight and works feet into position to square second level blocks

-Accelerates into down blocks and runs feet through contact

-Makes subtle weight shifts to keep defender centered during his block

-Stays connected to his blocks for the long haul

-Plays with adequate lift and hip roll at point of attack

-Fires out of his stance into initial kick-slide

-Has ability to slide and mirror defender around the arc when technique is right

-Nimble feet and good reactive athleticism to recover when beaten around the edge

-Quality "snap and find" talent on End/Tackle twists

View images of Pittsburgh offensive tackle Brian O'Neill.

Weaknesses

-Linear build lacking core strength

-Technique will go on vacation at inopportune times

-Struggled during Senior Bowl reps to maintain his pass pro posture

-Tends to defaults to a "nose-over-toes" approach with too much waist-bending

-Hands take too many outside tracks to the target

-More grabber than puncher

-Oversets and opens the inside path

-Lack of play strength could be debilitating on the next level

-Panics and forgets his footwork

-Gets caught on balls of his feet and can be walked into pocket in pass pro

-Makes initial contact before working his feet into position as lateral blocker

-Doesn't have enough upper body strength to seal and finish some backside reach blocks

-Allows defenders to rip through his edge

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