Detroit Lions 2021 draft: Instant reactions and grades
By Zach Payne
Round 1 pick 7: Penei Sewell, OT Oregon
There was a lot of talk about what the Lions would do with their first-round selection. Mostly because they have a lot of needs and no one was sure which direction they would go or if they would try to trade down.
In the end, they stayed at seven and took Penei Sewell, the highest-rated offensive tackle in the draft. It was a bit of a surprise that Sewell was even available for the Lions, with many believing he was bound to go to Cincinnati and play for the Bengals.
However, the 6-foot-6, 330-pound tackle ultimately ends up in the motor city ready to bite off some knee-caps. After the pick was made Brad Holmes confirmed that Sewell would compete for the starting spot at right tackle.
Sewell had a very good career at Oregon, as a 19-year-old he didn’t allow a single sack, and only allowed two QB hits in 491 snaps in pass protection. He had a PFF grade of 95.8 in 2019 which was the highest of any offensive player, before opting out for the 2020 season due to concerns of the pandemic.
He comes to Detroit at just 20 years old as one of the best offensive tackle prospects in the last decade. And he has received some very high praise from people within the NFL.
Another reason this is Pick makes so much sense, is the Lions now have a very clear picture of what their offensive line will look like for the next several years. The only right guard remains a question mark long-term, as no one knows if Halapoulivaati Vaitai will be in Detroit for the long haul.
All in all, Sewell will help anchor the right side of Detroit’s offensive line, and no one should complain about this pick. It isn’t flashy, but having a good offensive line allows you to open up the entire playbook, and this Lions unit has the potential to be among the best in the league.