The Detroit Lions were able to steal offensive tackle Penei Sewell early in the 2021 NFL Draft, and that move continues to look better and better in terms of
It doesn’t seem like a stretch to say that Sewell is going to be one of the better prospects to come out of this recent draft class when all is said and done. If and when that ends up being the case, a reason could be what Brad Holmes saw on tape when he watched Sewell compete.
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In a new piece by Albert Breer at Sports Illustrated, an inside look at the Detroit draft is given which showcases the cohesion of the new staff. One thing both Dan Campbell and Holmes seemed to agree strongly on was how good of a prospect Sewell was. Holmes himself had visions of former Los Angeles Rams’ stud tackle and Hall of Famer Orlando Pace.
“Holmes knew of Sewell, of course, going into the 2020 season. But it wasn’t until the Rams’ West Coast area scout kept raving about the Oregon opt-out—”This is the best guy,” Vito Gonella told Holmes—that the then L.A. scouting director really sat down and studied him intently. What Holmes saw, he says now, took his breath away.
“In terms of feet, I haven’t seen feet like that,” Holmes said. “I remember when I first got to the Rams and Orlando Pace was kind of getting on kind of the tail end of his career, that’s the kind of feet—I’m not comparing them player for player, but I’m talking about feet—he has. I haven’t seen feet like that, and just the fire that he had, the ability to maneuver and change directions, and his kick slide is rare, on top of the physicality, it was all there.”
If the Lions can get just half of what Pace brought to the mix in his Hall of Fame career, they will be so much better off up front and likely ecstatic with their draft. It’s nice to hear Sewell get lauded as a potential top player with this comparison in mind.
Lions Draft Class Gaining Solid Pro Comparisons
Sewell wasn’t the only Lions player that has drawn some interesting comparisons in terms of NFL talent. Wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown has been casually compared to Robert Woods and Keenan Allen, while Levi Onwuzurike has been compared to Pro Bowl defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. Linebacker Derrick Barnes has also drawn comparisons to Pro Bowl linebacker Demario Davis. Add it all up and the class seems to have the potential for some star power, and should deliver the Lions and their new brass a good foundation with which to operate early on in their tenures.
All of the players have to be themselves first, of course, but it’s nice to see many believing that the team may have scored some future Pro Bowl players or even Hall of Famers when all is said and done.
Sewell’s Stats and Highlights
The tackle from Oregon is a mountain of a man and someone who isn’t easily moved up front. Sewell excels as not only a pass blocker but a run blocker, and is as close to complete of an offensive lineman as there has been in the draft lately. While playing for the Ducks, Sewell became the 2019 Outland Trophy winner as the nation’s best offensive lineman and also was a Unanimous All-American and first-team All-PAC 12 player. Though he sat out 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it did little to dampen his stock as a top pick this April.
Sewell’s tape shows a player who can protect as well as move people up front, a deadly combination for the NFL.
Will he prove to be as good as Pace in the end? Detroit’s brass thinks that could be the case and certainly hopes so when all is said and done.
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