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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Why the Vikings picked Pitt tackle Brian O’Neil

By Matthew Coller

The Minnesota Vikings waited and watched as offensive linemen went off the board in the beginning of the second round. When No. 62 came around, they went with one of the best athletes in the draft, Pittsburgh tackle Brian O’Neil.

Why Brian O’Neil was picked:

The Vikings selected a player who will fit their needs on the offensive line. O’Neil has terrific quickness, which should allow him to step into a team that runs outside zone and a high frequency of screen passes. While he might fit in on Day 1 as a guard, O’Neil has a high ceiling with the potential of playing left tackle.

In terms of his athleticism, the site Relative Athletic Scores, which weighs how certain Combine events correlate to success, gave O’Neil a 9.6 out of 10.

Here is a look at the percentiles of his Combine results:

What experts say:

NFL.com draft profile

“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.”

Bleacher report:

Brian O’Neill has nice potential as an athletic zone tackle, but there are legitimate concerns regarding his tape and what we saw at the Senior Bowl. Heading into the week in Mobile, he was billed as a potential top-50 player, but struggles there will hurt his stock on draft weekend.”

Bottom line:

The reason the Vikings went with a “luxury pick” in the first round is they believed in the depth of the draft. That gamble will be tested by O’Neil. His development will be interesting to watch to see whether he begins at right tackle or right guard.

Watch Brian O’Neil

The post Why the Vikings picked Pitt tackle Brian O’Neil appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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