Brian O’Neill runs fastest time for offensive lineman at NFL Combine
INDIANAPOLIS – Brian O’Neill’s background as a high school wide receiver and converted college tight end paid off Friday in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
The former Pitt tackle ran the distance in 4.80 seconds, the fastest time among all offensive linemen and the best time for a lineman since 2013.
It also was the third-fastest recorded time for an offensive lineman at the combine since 2006.
The fastest 40 by any OL today.
— NFL (@NFL) March 2, 2018
O’Neill also had the best time among offensive linemen in the three-cone drill, at 7.14 seconds.
The 6-foot-7, 297-pound O’Neill has been projected as a first-round pick by some publications. Others have him going in the second or third rounds.
“It didn’t really surprise me knowing his background as a tight end,” Pitt wide receiver Jester Weah said. “He’s a very athletic lineman. I’m proud and happy for him.”
On Thursday, O’Neill talked about the benefits that playing tight end had on his conversion to the offensive line.
“I think there’s some things athletically that you can’t teach in terms of some things you can either do or you can’t,” he said. “And the things that kind of get you to the next level in terms of playing offensive line is more technical stuff and those can be taught.
“And I know speed and agility and that kind of stuff can be worked on and that can definitely be improved. But I think you start out at a higher base level than if you played line your whole life. At least, I feel that way.”
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.