Rick Spielman appeased the masses and his insatiable appetite for fourth round draft picks on Friday night, drafting tackle Brian O’Neill and trading away the Minnesota Vikings third round pick for a fourth and a sixth.
The Minnesota Vikings drafted offensive tackle Brian O’Neill with their second round pick and in doing so, helped quell Vikings fan’s concerns over the state of the offensive line going into 2018. Although the Vikings most glaring need going into the draft was at offensive line, Rick Spielman decided to go with defensive back Mike Hughes with the team’s first round pick, causing anxiety among Vikings faithful, at least the ones who can remember back to 2016.
Brian O’Neill spent the last three seasons at Pitt and according to Pro Football Focus, only gave up four pressures all year in 2016. Although he did not perform very well at the Senior Bowl, his athleticism and ability to move sets him apart from most tackles in this class. He was ranked by PFF as the sixth best tackle in this draft class and because of the flexibility of the other offensive lineman on the roster, the Vikings are able to move pieces around should O’Neill could play his way into a starting spot.
In addition to drafting O’Neill in the second round, Spielman then traded away the Vikings third round pick. In return, the Vikings received a fourth and sixth round pick. We know that Rick likes to make deals during the draft and we also know that Rick likes having ten picks per draft. Spielman turned the third round pick into two picks and wound up with eight selections total.
The Vikings drafting an offensive lineman and trading away a pick for more picks was nearly inevitable in this year’s draft. Whether or not Rick Spielman made the right choice in the timing of those moves remains to be seen.