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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings tackle O’Neill unconcerned with talk of his development curve

By Matthew Coller

The words “developmental prospect” have been used to describe Minnesota Vikings second-round pick Brian O’Neill.

Analysts have pointed to his weight and struggles at times with technique as reasons the former Pitt standout will have to sit behind Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers in Year 1.

Following the morning session of Vikings rookie camp, O’Neill said he isn’t focusing on what’s being said about his development curve.

”The only couple of opinions that matter in my world are coach Sparano’s, coach DeFilippo’s and coach Zimmer’s because they are the ones who make that call,” O’Neill said. “Whatever they are going to ask me to do I’m going to try to do it to the best I can. Whatever they perceive as my weaknesses and tell me I need to fix, I’m going to fix.”

One of the key areas for O’Neill to improve is strength. At the NFL Combine, he ran a blazing fast 40-yard dash and was a top performer in the 20-yard shuttle and 3-cone, but he only weighed in at 297-pounds and benched just 22 reps (which is in the 33rd percentile among tackles).

“I’m not really sure other than general strength and conditioning, if I had to guess I’d put on a few more pounds, probably be anywhere from 300 to 305 [pounds] if I had to guess,” O’Neill said. “That’s not really going to be an issue. Wherever they tell me to be weight wise, I’m going to be.”

The Vikings will have to balance helping their rookie get stronger with retaining his movement skills. He is expected to fit well with the team’s zone running scheme and screen game because of his ability to hit opposing players in space.

As for camp, there is a chance he could win a starting job at right tackle and move Mike Remmers inside to guard or even transition to guard for his rookie year.

“It’s not my job to decide where I’m going to go,” O’Neill said. “At this point I’m just trying to learn with coach. Whatever he’s going to ask me to do, I’m going to do it the best I can.”

The post Vikings tackle O’Neill unconcerned with talk of his development curve appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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