OT Penei Sewell, Oregon

OT Penei Sewell, Oregon* (6’6”, 330)

Background:

Started seven games as a true freshman, missing six games due to injury but returning to man the left tackle position in time for the team’s bowl game. Won the Outland Trophy the following year, then opted out of the 2020 season before declaring for the draft. Has pro bloodlines: uncles are former defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga and former linebacker Richard Brown, and also has three brothers playing at the college level.

Positives:

Has solid height/length and excellent bulk for a pro offensive lineman, appearing to carry his weight well. Temperament and work rate are both pluses: plays the game with urgency and aggression, working hard to engage and sustain through the whistle. Exhibits the killer instinct to finish snaps with pancakes when given the opportunity. Has the athleticism to play in space in a zone-based scheme. Capable of chipping one opponent and recovering to block another. Can block on angles, climb to the second level and successfully engage, or lead the way in space. Good leg drive after engaging; can consistently overwhelm second-level defenders. Was often asked to work on an island in the passing game. Quick and light on his feet, with impressive lateral quickness. Generates good torque with his upper body to twist defenders to the ground when he gets a grip. Looks great leading the way in the screen game. Has the short-area quickness to pull and set up on the blindside when the quarterback rolls out to the right.

Negatives:

Basically has just a year and a half of starting experience under his belt due to injury and having opted out. Typically played out of a two-point stance and will have to get used to putting his hand in the dirt more often. Didn’t put a ton of snaps under his belt in which he’s getting depth in his kickslide and doesn’t always look like he has a sound base under him, forcing him to rely on his natural strength. Can lapse into being more of a shover and occasionally falling off of blocks by getting overly aggressive. Can be jolted by opponents when he lets them into his body; would like to see more consistent extension. Generally handles both speed and power well but can struggle to reset his hands when working against technicians.

Summary:

Despite his lack of extensive starting experience, his rare combination of size, athleticism, and aggressiveness looks like it’ll make him a high first-round pick. Could theoretically play in either a zone or inline blocking scheme, although the former might make better use of his lateral quickness and ability to work in space. Will not turn 21 until October, so whoever drafts him could be adding a long-term cornerstone to their offensive line at its most valuable position.

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