The Detroit Lions have plenty of famous fans, but it’s not often that the team could have the chance to select a player that has cheered for them in the past.
Such could be the case in 2021, however. In the lead into the NFL Draft, an interesting factoid has arisen about Oregon’s Penei Sewell, the top offensive tackle in the draft. The Lions were a team he followed closely while growing up.
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Speaking in an interview with Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Sewell was asked what team he followed growing up. While he said there were several, he admitted to liking the Lions perhaps the most thanks to the fact he used them in Madden and appreciated a couple of their star players on the offensive side of the ball.
— LionsFanReport (@lionsfanreport) April 28, 2021
“The one that kind of stuck out to me was the Lions. I was a big fan of Calvin Johnson, loved seeing him go up and get the ball and also the running back they had at the time was Jahvid Best. I would just use them in Madden because my brother and I would have tournaments and stuff like that and I loved to use the underdog. At the time they had those two and I would use them against my older brother and my little brother.”
Safe to say the Lions have always been the underdog, whether in Madden or in real football, so if Sewell was indeed on the board and became the pick, he’d get a taste of what being a member of the team was all about.
If his past is any indication, he might like that outcome a lot.
Why Sewell Could Become Lions Pick
Most prospects are left tackles in the draft, but it’s possible if the right player was on the board, Detroit would jump at the opportunity to fortify their young offensive line further. If Sewell could be such a player that the Lions would be motivated to jump into the mix for, and that might only be more of the case now after some new information has come to light.
Recently, it was revealed that Sewell has been training at right tackle and the potential is there for him to be selected by a team with a need at that spot rather than left tackle.
Versatility is key: #Oregon LT Penei Sewell, the Draft’s consensus top OT, has been training at right tackle as well as left tackle (which he played in college). Sewell is preparing for the possibility that someone with an entrenched LT drafts him & puts him at RT for a year.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 16, 2021
Obviously, the Lions could fit as such a team given the presence of Taylor Decker on the roster. Putting Sewell at right tackle would be intriguing, and could be a way for the team to have a solid bookend mix in the league.
Even though the Lions have Taylor Decker, Jonah Jackson and Frank Ragnow in the fold as well as quality young depth pieces like Tyrell Crosby, the team could need one more elite piece to perhaps cement their transformation toward one of the best groups in the NFL. While wideout and defense are big needs for the Lions, the team could simply stay put and take an elite talent like Sewell in order to help out their offensive line for the near future.
It’s clear Sewell is the types of player who could move the needle for the Lions in terms of getting a tough lineman up front. Whether the draft plays out like this or not is anybody’s guess, but if either one of the players can play right tackle consistently, it might make them too good for Detroit to pass up in the end.
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.
With tape like that, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Sewell could be one of the best young lineman to hit the league in decades. It certainly won’t hurt that he could play for a team he once cheered for as a kid.
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