Penei Sewell NFL Draft 2021: Scouting Report for Detroit Lions' OT

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IApril 30, 2021

FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2019, file photo, Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell (58) looks on as Oregon plays Auburn in an NCAA college football game, in Arlington, Texas. Sewell was selected to The Associated Press All-Pac 12 Conference team, and tied for Offensive Player of the Year with Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley and Utah running back Zack Moss, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins, File)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

 6'4 "



—Elite frame, build, play speed and power.

—Explosively springs out of his stance to gain ground with efficient footwork, balance and weight distribution as a pass protector and run-blocker with special ability to recover from compromising positions.

—Has plenty of range in his pass set to beat wide-9 speed-rushers to the spot without help, showing the range to expand his set points and mirror rushers up the arc.

—Shows a variety of pass sets and hand techniques (patience, flash/bait techniques, snatch/trap, circle punch) to keep rushers guessing.

—Outstanding hand placement to quickly latch onto the armpit/inside of the shoulder pad to create leverage in pass protection.

—Excellent grip strength and power as a run-blocker to widen the frontside DE on kickouts, drive and seal DTs on down blocks and create vertical displacement on double-teams.

—Plays alert when uncovered with special anticipatory skills to adapt and process new information quickly.

—Moves like a gazelle in space to locate, track and connect on smaller targets with regularity; Oregon's offense used him as a featured piece in the game plan on numerous occasions to capitalize on this ability.

—Experienced inside/outside zone run-blocker with the skill set to fit into any scheme.


—Needs to keep his pads down and feet moving in pass protection after first contact to prevent giving up half man (the corner) to skilled rushers who can string moves together late in the rush (ex: 2019 vs. Bradlee Anae x 2 and 2019 vs. Zack Baun x 1).

—Can shore up his aiming points when securing and bumping over the first-level defender on double-teams; tended to use a 'flipper' or throw a shoulder without lining up his target first, causing him to whiff and lose his balance before his climb.


—Opted out of the 2020 season


—Will be 20 years old Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season (turns 21 in October).

—21 career games played with 20 starts.

—2019 Outland Trophy and Morris Trophy winner.

—2019 AP Pac-12 Co-Offensive Player of the Year.

—2019 unanimous first-team All-American.

—Zero sacks allowed on 926 snaps and led the team with 58 knockdowns in 2019.

—In 2018, became the first Oregon true freshman offensive lineman to start the first game of the season since 1997.

—Missed six games in 2018 with a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 6 against Washington. Made it back for their bowl game against Michigan State six weeks later.



Sewell played every snap at Oregon as a teenager while showing exceptional physical tools and traits for the position that don't come around often. He can handle himself on an island as a pass protector and in space with remarkable efficiency, balance and power. He uses precise hand placement and clamping grip strength to create quick leverage on defenders to sustain, steer and control them around the field.

His aiming points as a run-blocker and adjustments against refined pass-rush moves can be polished up, but the foundational traits are there in spades. Sewell's football intelligence and ability to grasp concepts quickly allow him to make adjustments on the fly to cover schematic blindspots, giving him the makings of an immediate-impact starter with room to grow into an All-Pro.

GRADE: 9.0/10 (Top 10)





Written by B/R NFL Scout Brandon Thorn


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