Brian O’Neill 2018 NFL Draft Profile

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MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 27: during the first half of the Reese's Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on January 27, 2018 in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Overview
Position
: Offensive line
Height: 6’6”
Weight: 298 pounds
School: Pittsburgh Panthers

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash
: 4.82 seconds (best among offensive linemen)
Bench press: 22 reps
Vertical jump: 29.5 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 11 inches
Three-cone drill: 7.14 seconds (best among offensive linemen)
20-yard shuttle: 4.50 seconds (tied for fourth among offensive linemen)

Brian O’Neill 2018 NFL Draft Profile

If you had been told back in 2014 that Brian O’Neill would be declaring for the draft in 2018, your first inclination would not have been that it was as an offensive tackle, especially one with a potential for having his name called on day two of the draft. He committed to Pittsburgh to play tight end, and wasn’t a high ranked prospect coming into college, ranked in the 50s for Tight Ends as a three-star recruit.

Coming from an athletic family, being able to bulk up and move to tackle shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Both of his parents played sports in college, as his father was a running back for Dartmouth, and his mother was a swimmer at Northeastern. This athleticism helped him in high school, where he excelled as a senior athlete, winning Delaware’s defensive football player of the year award while winning the state’s basketball player of the year award as well.

After redshirting his freshman year, he moved to offensive tackle. Starting with the second game of that year. O’Neill started the next 37 games for the Panthers, with all 12 starts his junior year coming as a left tackle. O’Neill really excelled his junior year, playing well enough for Pitt to earn First Team All-ACC honors, after earning Second Team All-ACC the year before as a sophomore.

Strengths

  • Long arms (34-1/8”) help keep blockers at bay
  • Athleticism comes in handy to deal with speed rushers
  • Good acceleration into second level
  • Blocks with good form once getting to second level, keeping lanes open
  • Quick feet to recover on edge rushes
  • Diagnoses twists and stunts very well

Weaknesses

  • Needs to gain weight to deal with NFL strength and bull rush
  • Not enough punch when blocking, will default to reaching and grabbing
  • Lack of size can lead to sitting on balls of his feet
  • Too many instances of defaulting to athleticism and forgetting technique
  • Will lapse into bad footwork causing unnecessary mistakes
  • Needs to become stronger to finish his reach blocking

NFL Comparison: Terron Armstead

Teams With Need at Position: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals

Projection: Day two, mid second to early third round

Bottom Line

O’Neill’s success in the NFL is going to come down to whether or not he can improve his strength to deal with an NFL bull rush. If he is unable to do so, he will find himself as a serviceable player who is still able to fit in at guard or tackle. However, if he can improve strength without losing any of his mobility and quickness, he should be able to turn into a special player and make multiple Pro Bowls throughout his career. That potential certainly has him on the radar of NFL scouts regarding his potential at the next level.

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