Penei Sewell is a beast. I can’t say it any simpler than that.
The Detroit Lions benefited immensely when Sewell fell into their lap in April’s NFL draft. Many mock drafts had Sewell going to the Cincinnati Bengals, but instead, Cincy chose the sizzle over the steak by drafting a wide receiver at number five. Two picks later, the Lions drafted, who many experts are calling the next Anthony Munoz. Munoz was a nine-time All-Pro left tackle for the Bengals in the 1980s and stated before the draft that he’d like to see his former team take Sewell with the fifth pick.
Of course, that did not happen, and the Lions gladly swooped in to stop Sewell from falling any further in the draft. The Lions aren’t known for consistently making competent decisions in their history. Aside from the obvious picks of Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson, Detroit has whiffed on too many to name. Add Matthew Stafford to that list as well if you’d like. But Sewell is different, and in a few years, he’ll be on the same list.
So far, Sewell has lived up to the hype in his first two professional starts for the Lions. Sewell is used to not only meeting but exceeding expectations. According to Pro Football Focus, Sewell hasn’t allowed a sack while playing the left tackle position since the 2018 season at Oregon.
This is still an incredible feat regardless of Sewell having opted out of the 2020 college football season. Sewell is starting his NFL career the same way he ended his college career with the Ducks by shutting down outside pass rushers from the left tackle position. Sewell’s combination of quick feet, active hands, and top-shelf agility set him apart from most other linemen.
In two seasons as a starter on the Ducks offensive line, Sewell gave up a total of one sack across 1,376 snaps. That one sack came during Sewell’s freshman year of 2018, as mentioned above. This guy has perennial All-Pro written all over him. I still can’t understand how you don’t take Sewell (Bengals) if you indeed are in the market for a blind-side tackle. I’m not big on team’s drafting wide receivers in the top five unless they truly are that can’t miss, once-in-a-generation type of talent. Give me an equally acclaimed left tackle or pass rusher over a receiver every time.
Sewell is going to be in this league shutting down pass rushers for a long time. I only hope the Lions can follow up the drafting of Sewell with more great draft day decisions over the next few years. Detroit fans are loyal, and they deserve to see their Lions winning more than a season here or there each… decade.