Brian O’Neill – OT (2018)
The Vikings took Brian O’Neill in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The consensus on the choice was it was probably a bit early as O’Neill was expected to be a player who was going to have to bulk up before seeing significant playing time in the pros. Anyone who thought that was dead wrong.
O’Neill cracked the starting lineup as a rookie and he ended up starting 11 games. He hasn’t looked back and he has developed into Minnesota’s best overall offensive lineman.
O’Neill rarely gives up a sack or gets flagged for a penalty. His play has been a huge reason why the Vikings’ running game was so good last season. Kirk Cousins rarely feels pressure from his right side and he has big No. 75 to thank for that.
There is some talk about whether or not O’Neill will stay on the right side this upcoming season and beyond. He certainly has the athletic ability and size to be a quality left tackle in the NFL. But there is a strong sense of “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” when it comes to O’Neill and the team could be hesitant to move him from a position where he is becoming elite.
O’Neill, through two years, has been an excellent pick from the second round and he is on his way to becoming one of the premier offensive linemen in the entire NFL.