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What they’re saying about the Minnesota Vikings drafting Brian O’Neill

The Vikings addressed the offensive line, but what do the experts think?

NCAA Football: Miami at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

On the second day of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings only selected one player, but they finally addressed their biggest position of need by selecting an offensive lineman.

The Vikings selected University of Pittsburgh offensive tackle Brian O’Neill in the second round with the 62nd overall selection, and though O’Neill is considered a very good athlete, he’s also apparently viewed as a bit of a project. We know it’s way too early to grade draft picks that have never set foot onto the field in the NFL, but lots of places are doing it, so let’s see what some of the experts around the internet are saying about the selection this evening.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: B

I love when a former basketball player who is a good athlete is taken as a tackle. Now they can keep Mike Remmers at guard if they want.

Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: B

Teams were down on Brian O’Neill because of a lack of strength. He’s athletic, but his lack of power could be a problem. If he can add lots of strength, he could be a solid blocker for the Vikings, who needed to address the offensive line. O’Neill seems fine for this range, so this is a logical choice.

SB Nation: Good

Nay, great. The Vikings had a chance to take not only an athletic lineman, but a Piesman-winning athletic lineman. How are you going to pass that up?

Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report: D+

Brian O’Neill is a tortoise coming off the line of scrimmage, forcing him to lunge and lose balance as he tries to compensate. He’ll raise injury liability premiums for his quarterback as a left tackle but could be a stopgap on the right side or get the job done at guard. O’Neill took some goal-line carries and threw a few trick-play passes at Pitt, so he may provide a smidge of extra value as a goal-line fullback.

This was an obvious need pick for the Vikings. But O’Neill is too much like the kind of slow-footed offensive line prospect that has gotten the team into trouble in the past. B

There’s a vacancy at right guard after Joe Berger retired, and the Vikings will attempt to fill it either with O’Neill, an athletic but unfinished product with upside, or Mike Remmers, who slid into that spot down the stretch last year. Whoever doesn’t play guard will start at right tackle, if all goes to plan.

Scouting Report: A high-school wide receiver turned tight-end recruit turned offensive tackle, O’Neill hasn’t sacrificed much in terms of movement skills as he bulked up to 300 pounds. He’s still a work in progress, but he brings the raw skills with prototypical left-tackle length and athleticism.

We’ll add more of these as they become available, but this is a start.

What do you think of the Vikings’ selection of Brian O’Neill?


Grade the Minnesota Vikings’ selection of Brian O’Neill at #62 in the 2018 NFL Draft

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