Offensive line is never a "sexy" choice in the NFL Draft, but building from within the trenches is necessary to turn high-picking franchises around.
No position is more vital on the offensive line than left tackle, protecting the blind side of any right-handed quarterback. (All but one starting QB in the league is right-handed.)
According to some analysts and statisticians, Oregon's Penei Sewell may be one of the best left tackle prospects to enter the NFL in recent memory.
Sewell, born in American Samoa, is listed as six feet, six inches tall and weighs in at 325 pounds. He won the 2019 Outland Trophy, awarded to the best college football interior lineman in the United States as adjudged by the Football Writers Association of America, AP Pac-12 Co-Offensive Player of the Year, and PFF Pac-12 Player of the Year.
According to PFF, Sewell was the highest-graded offensive lineman in the country at 95.8 overall in his sophomore season, "earning a 91.1 pass-blocking grade and a 95.7 run-blocking grade." Though Sewell opted out of the 2020 season, he is one of PFF's highest graded offensive lineman ever.
Sewell didn't allow a sack in his sophomore year and has no career penalties. On his career, Sewell has one carry for one yard.
NFL Draft fits:
There isn't a team in the NFL that wouldn't love to have have an elite offensive lineman like Sewell added to their roster. The team that will ultimately draft Sewell, however, is a franchise that identifies their need at tackle, and likely left tackle, to be higher than their need at other positions. Teams that could fit this mold are the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals primarily, though the Jets could pass up on Sewell to take a QB.
Mock Draft Predictions:
It is rare to find a mock that has Sewell falling past the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 3 in the draft. Recent mocks, including Sportskeeda's own, has Sewell being selected second overall to the New York Jets.
The big decision that will decide where Sewell lands falls on the shoulders of the Jets management and new coaching staff. In CBS Sports most recent mock, Sewell is selected second overall to the Jets, and they refer to the lineman prospect as "the clear cut No. 1 offensive lineman in the class and the No. 2 overall player on our board."Published 24 Dec 2020, 08:29 IST