Our Scouting Report Series continues where we break down the top prospects for the 2021 NFL draft. Today, we are talking about the best offensive tackle prospect in the entire draft. Before you go on, be sure to check out any of our previous scouting reports you might have missed!

QB RB WR TE OL EDGE IDL LB CB S
Justin Fields N/A Ja’Marr Chase N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Patrick Surtain II N/A
Zach Wilson   DeVonta Smith              
Trey Lance                

Measurables and Numbers 

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 325 pounds

A look at Penei Sewell’s College Performance

Penei Sewell was a 4-star recruit from Desert Hills High School in Saint George, Utah. He was the #57 overall recruit of the 2018 recruiting class and the #2 rated offensive tackle. He was very highly sought after, drawing interest from programs like Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma, and USC before committing to the University of Oregon.

Sewell started as a true freshman at Oregon in 2018, appearing in 7 games before sustaining a high ankle sprain that sidelined him for the remainder of the season. In 2019 Sewell returned as the starter and turned in a stellar season for the Ducks. He won the Outland Trophy and was selected unanimously as a first-team All-American. He opted out of the 2020 college football season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and declared his intentions to enter the NFL draft.  

During his 2019 season, Sewell received an overall grade from PFF of 95.8 overall with a 91.1 pass-blocking grade and a 95.7 run-blocking grade. He allowed only 7 pressures on 491 pass-blocking snaps and never allowed 2 in the same game. In his 2 year career at Oregon, Sewell only allowed 1 sack on 678 total pass-blocking snaps.

Current Draft Projection

PFF – 4th overall/OT1

Daniel Jeremiah – 10th overall/OT2

The Draft Network – 2nd overall/OT1

Strengths

Size

Sewell has ideal size for the offensive tackle position in the NFL. With size like a tackle and athleticism like a tight end, he can drop into pass sets or get to the 2nd and 3rd level of a defense to block in the run game with ease. He displays a strong anchor against bull rushes and once he locks onto a defender with his hands the rep is essentially over. He loves to get out in space in the run/screen game and demolish smaller defenders.  

Football IQ

Sewell is a highly intelligent player and has great vision on the field. He sees twists and stunts coming long before they happen and is able to pass off rushers with ease. On the rare occasion that he is late to a pass off, he has the athleticism to recover and run the iDL around the horn and out of the play. 

Versatility

Sewell played OG in high school before making the switch to OT at Oregon. If you draft Sewell you are taking him to play LT, but he has all of the traits that you look for in a guard as well. Later in his career, he would be an ideal candidate to kick inside if his natural athleticism starts to wane.  

Weaknesses

Balance

Sewell ends up on the ground more often than you would like due to instances of poor balance. Speed rushers have shown the ability to threaten him outside and then club back to the inside, pushing Sewell off balance. When this happens, it is nearly always because Sewell’s feet are too close together to maintain his balance through the blow. 

Hand Placement

We are nitpicking at this point, but Sewell’s hand placement drifts too wide at times, allowing defenders to get inside his frame and force him backward. In college, it was rarely an issue because it was offset by his hand strength, but could be something to keep an eye on at the next level.

Summary

Penei Sewell is an outstanding OT prospect with a ton of upside. He is one of the best offensive line prospects in recent memory and will only be 20 years old at the start of his rookie season. He routinely makes highlight-reel blocks in the run game and is able to lock down rushers off the edge. His technique can use some polish, but most of his issues come from being overly aggressive, and I can think of a lot worse traits for an offensive lineman.  

Best Fits

Does your team have a franchise left tackle on the roster for the next 8 years? If not, then Sewell is a fit for your team. For many teams at the top of the draft, it will come down to taking a QB or giving their current guy one last chance while adding a piece upfront to keep him clean. QB may be the most important position in the NFL, but offensive tackle isn’t far behind.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles have 2019 1st round pick Andre Dillard and 2018 7th round pick Jordan Mailata already at LT. Why should they consider Sewell? Dillard looked bad during limited action in his rookie season and was reportedly being shopped last offseason. He stayed on the roster but sustained a season-ending biceps injury before he could see the field. Will he be better coming off of a major injury? Jordan Mailata looked good in extended action last season, but if Sewell is on the board can you pass him up? These are all questions that the Eagles will have to answer, but they have shown that they highly value building through the trenches. There could be far worse outcomes than walking out of the 1st round having removed all questions about the LT position for the next decade.