Lions' Penei Sewell Only 'Surefire' HOF Player in 2021 Draft Class, NFL HC Says

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIIApril 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. The last NFL event not impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic was the 2020 combine in Indianapolis. A year later, with the 2021 combine canceled, the league has released a list of players who would have merited invitations. From such high-profile quarterbacks as Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields to guys who sat out last season such as Oregon tackle Penei Sewell, there are 323 players from 100 schools. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins, File)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

Penei Sewell is headed to the Detroit Lions after the team drafted him with the No. 7 overall pick on Thursday, and that decision is expected to be one that makes a major impact on the league—to at least one NFL coach. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that one coach referred to Sewell as "the one surefire Hall of Famer" in the 2021 draft class.  

Sewell, who doesn't turn 21 until October, opted out of the 2020 season at Oregon, shrinking an already smaller sample size. He missed six games with a high ankle sprain in 2018, but he made up for all of it in 2019, building a resume that made him worthy of a top-10 pick.

The offensive tackle, who stands at 6'4" and weighs in at 331 pounds, was named the AP Pac-12 Co-Offensive Player of the Year and was a unanimous first-team All-American, also winning the 2019 Outland Trophy and Morris Trophy. 

In that season, he never allowed a sack through 926 snaps played, and his 58 tackles led the Ducks. Bleacher Report's NFL Scouting Department ranked him as the No. 4 player available in the 2021 draft class. 

With any potential Hall of Fame selection a ways away, his selection should have major implications for a Detroit Lions offensive line that allowed 42 sacks in 2020, ranking 10th in the league.