Oregon offensive tackle and draft prospect Penei Sewell might be one of the best players in his position heading into the 2021 NFL Draft.
Sewell opted out of the Ducks' 2020 campaign due to COVID-19 concerns. But after a superb 2019 which he spent protecting the NFL's 2020 Rookie of the Year, Justin Herbert, Sewell certainly doesn't appear to have damaged his stock during his absence.
A quick look at the stats and tape below should help explain why the Malaeimi, American Samoan, native is regarded highly by draft analysts across the country.
2021 NFL Draft prospect: OT Penei Sewell
Height: 6' 5".
Weight: 331 lbs.
Position: Offensive Tackle.
2021 NFL Draft prospect: Penei Sewell Strengths
A fierce competitor at the line of scrimmage, Penei Sewell was voted America's best offensive lineman in 2019 and was also the winner of the esteemed Outland Trophy.
Sewell possesses freakish upper body strength and is pacy for a big man. That enables him to get ahead of the play and easily shift opposing lineman out of the way in support of his team's run game.
In fact, fans who watched Penei Sewell's college career would testify seeing the Samoan-born powerhouse stampeding up to three different players at the same play countless times. That's because Sewell is a superb blocker.
It's Sewell's ability as a pass protector, which has so many NFL teams salivating as the draft approaches near.
When he dropped back to guard his QB, Sewell seemed almost immoveable during his college career. According to PFF, he allowed zero sacks and only seven QB pressures in 491 pass-protecting snaps in 2019, chalking up a 95.8 PFF grade in the process.
TheDraftNetwork writes of Sewell:
"Penei Sewell aligns at left tackle and is a good athlete overall, as evidenced in his initial quickness of the snap and his body control and balance in his set. In the run game, he demonstrates his physical toughness as an in-line blocker. He comes off the ball with the intent to maul you inside, and he’s dominant on combo blocks. In the passing game, he demonstrates his competitiveness and length on the perimeter."
2021 NFL Draft prospect: Penei Sewell Weaknesses
There really aren't too many areas of concern to ponder when analyzing PeneiSewell's overall game.
In an ideal world, Oregon's highest-ranked player at this year's draft could have played a full 2020 season just to gain more experience. But it's hard to hold a global pandemic against Sewell.
“There are no words to adequately express how blessed I feel for having played football for the past two seasons at the best school in the country, the University of Oregon,” Sewell wrote. “The love and support I received has been overwhelming, and I could not be more grateful. But ever since I was little, I have dreamt of playing professional football. Accordingly, after long thought, prayer and many conversations with my family, I have decided to opt out of the 2020-21 college football season and prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.”
Apart from not playing in 2020, Sewell has a few issues with his technique that could be ironed out. Due to the ferocity with which the American-Samoan plays the game, he does run the risk of picking up injuries. But again, it's just a matter of technique.
Chances are that Penei Sewell could have corrected both these 'weaknesses; had he featured last season.
2021 NFL Draft prospect: Penei Sewell Career Stats
Career Pass Blocking Snaps: 608.
Sacks Allowed: 1.
PFF Pass Blocking Grade: 91.1.
PFF Run Blocking Grade: 95.7.
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