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Brian O’Neill is a bright spot on a struggling Vikings offensive line but he is still not among the best offensive tackles according to Pro Football Focus.
The Minnesota Vikings have been forced to watch some pretty bad offensive line play over the last few years. The inability to protect Kirk Cousins resulted in many plays being unable to develop or force a quick dump off.
One of the positives to come from the unit is starting right tackle Brian O’Neill. A second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, O’Neill quickly stabilized the position and earned a 5-year, $ 92.5 million contract extension this offseason. He is tied to the franchise through the 2026 season.
Although the Vikings and fans of the team are big fans of his play, he didn’t fare very well in a recent article on the Pro Football Focus website where he was ranked No. 26 among all offensive tackles, meaning he is closer to an average starter than an elite player according to their standards.
Is Brian O’Neill overvalued by the Minnesota Vikings?
When looking at the average annual salary of an offensive tackle in today’s NFL on Spotrac, Brian O’Neill is the sixth-highest paid offensive tackle in the NFL and the second-highest paid right tackle in the league behind only Ryan Ramczyk of the Saints .
Has the offensive line been so bad for Minnesota that they are willing to overpay a player for his services? Or is his play being undervalued by Pro Football Focus and he truly is among the best to play his position?
The situation surrounding Brian O’Neill is up for debate, but having a starting right tackle in place who can play at a high level is a huge value to the Vikings offense that hopes to bounce back after last season. Having him and Christian Darrisaw as the bookends on the line looks like a solid combination and once the team figures out of the interior of the line they should be able to do a much better job executing plays.
Brian O’Neill being placed in Tier 7 of “Good Starters” by PFF is a bit of a compliment and adding that he was their “14th-most valuable tackle in the league since 2020” is impressive, but it raises questions as to why the 2022 Pro Bowl blocker was ranked so low on their list.