If you need an offensive lineman in the 2021 NFL Draft and you’re near the front of the order, you are really hoping that Penei Sewell is available when you pick. Even with the PAC-12 playing football next month, Sewell is still choosing to opt out of the season and prepare for the NFL Draft. Who could blame him for his decision when he is already being considered as a top five pick. Let’s take a look at why he is getting the hype that he is getting.
Sewell’s Back Story
Sewell stands at 6’5” and 325 pounds and is from Utah. Coming out of high school he was a four star recruit. He received offers from Alabama, USC, Florida, LSU, etc. But in the end he chose to go with Oregon. Coming out of high school he was a guard and made the transition to tackle once he got into college. His list of accomplishments is more than I can list here, but to just hit the brief points:
- First Polynesian, first sophomore offensive lineman and first Duck to win the Outland Trophy.
- Finished sophomore campaign as the top-graded offensive lineman in PFF history (since 2014)..
- Has allowed just one sack over 1,376 snaps the last two seasons.
As you can see, Sewell has an impressive track record at Oregon. Let’s move on into the nitty gritty about what makes this guy so talented.
The Good About Sewell
The first thing to mention about Sewell is his usefulness in the run game. Coming from Oregon there are a lot of run plays, designed QB runs, RPOs, and screens. He drive blocks really well and really is effective in helping create running lanes. He has no issue moving and getting into the second level. Sewell really likes to hit people and it shows when he is run blocking. He is fantastic at sealing off lanes and really being an immovable anchor.
When it comes to pass blocking Sewell is also very strong. He is aware of where his quarterback is during pass plays. Sewell has a good kick back to watch the perimeter of the pocket. His length and wingspan is excellent. What is most impressive to me is his strength and ability to latch on to defenders without getting a penalty. His upper body strength is so impressive; once he gets his hands on a defender, they can forget about getting through him. The scariest thing about Sewell is that he is only 20 years old and he has so much room to grow.
The Bad About Sewell
Sewell surprisingly doesn’t have many flaws to point out. The biggest weakness that he has is he needs to work more on strengthening the lower half of his body. At times he can be a little top heavy and can be thrown by a stronger defensive lineman. There are some moments where he tries to rely too much on his upper strength at times and it can bite him in the rear. This doesn’t happen often and I am sure it is a problem that will quickly be corrected in the pros.
In the 2019 season, Sewell’s first game was probably his worst game of the year when the Ducks faced Auburn. Auburn’s pass rush was so lethal last season. He went head to head often with former top ten pick Derrick Brown, and there were times when Brown got the better of him. The crazy thing is Sewell only got better and better as the season went on. This is a guy who doesn’t make the same mistakes more than once.
Sewell is without a doubt going to be in the top five of my big board. There is no doubt in my mind that he could easily go in the top five picks of the 2021 NFL Draft. A quarter through the NFL season we have seen that there are multiple teams who will likely have a high pick. These teams already have “their guy” at quarterback, and simply need to build around him. Expect to see Sewell go very early on the first night of the Draft. He is a phenomenal talent that can be an instant impact for any team that drafts him.