2018 Raiders Draft Prospect
Name: Brian O’Neill
Weight: 298 pounds
Perhaps no tackle in this draft possesses the lateral agility of O’Neill. With a confident kickstep, O’Neill meets the rusher on the outside. One-note rushers that rely on the outside move will meet O’Neill frequently. Additionally, O’Neill uses a good mirror to shadow defenders. However, O’Neill needs to anchor better versus the bull rush. This is where his height hurts. O’Neill needs to widen the base and meet the bull with leverage and a punch.
If there is an issue in O’Neill’s game, run blocking jumps to the top of the list. However, this issue vanishes with weight gain. Due to O’Neill’s frame and length, opponents can get under his pads and slide away. However, O’Neill gets such a jump off the snap, he gets into a defender’s chest in a hurry. As a result, the lineman or linebacker cannot generate as much power.
As mentioned, with heavy weight room emphasis and training, O’Neill can erase strength as an issue. More importantly, added strength would help his reach seem even longer.
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You may not find many 300-pound tackles that move like O’Neill. Whether it is getting to the second level, screens, or wide-rushing ends, O’Neill shines athletically. Granted, other tackles can display athleticism. Yet, few can with the fluidity that O’Neill brings to the field.
In order to evolve as a tackle, O’Neill needs a firmer punch. His longer arms could prevent that. On the other hand, if he shortens that move, then extend, ends will need to contend with that.
When Jon Gruden assumed the reins, he inherited a stout interior line. On the other hand, with Penn winding down and a gaping hole at right tackle, the Raiders need help. O’Neill fits what Tom Cable wants to do. He prefers athletic tackles that can move a bit. At least, that is how he handled the line situation in Seattle. The Raiders face dominant pass rushers in AFC West and conference yearly. For the team to succeed, Derek Carr needs to remain healthy. Athletic tackles like O’Neill could give the Raiders an advantage. Provided that he gets a little bigger and stronger, Oakland could select him on Day 2.
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