Over just two seasons, Penei Sewell has become one of the best right tackles in the NFL and a confirmed building block for the Detroit Lions. He's being encouraged to become a more vocal leader, and NFL.com's Bucky Brooks has called him the "gold standard" at his position.
Sewell is also lined up to get a big contract pretty soon, and it's a no-brainer for the Lions to give it to him. He has been everything they hoped he'd be since taking him seventh overall in the 2021 draft.
ESPN continues to roll out their position rankings, based on polling of NFL players, coaches and executives. Lions' safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson made the top-10 at his position, and on Saturday morning the top-10 offensive tackles in the league (subscription required) based on the polling were revealed.
Detroit Lions: Penei Sewell takes his rightful place among NFL offensive tackles
Sewell came in at No. 6 in the offensive tackle ranking. No. 1-5 on the list at Trent Williams, Laremy Tunsil, Tristan Wirfs, Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata. After Sewell in the top-10 is Andrew Thomas, Rashawn Slater, Christian Darrisaw and Kolton Miller.
Here's what an anonymous personnel director said about Sewell.
"He’s really talented, a good young player,” one anonymous NFL personnel director said. “Playing right tackle probably helps him become a natural left tackle later. Will be a good starter for a long time.”"
Sewell was Pro Football Focus' 10th-highest graded tackle last year (minimum of 500 snaps), as he allowed two sacks with PFF's fourth-best run blocking grade among qualifying tackles (83.0).
Lions left tackle Taylor Decker didn't make the list, and he was not among five honorable mentions. But he was among five others beyond that who received votes in the poll. Decker has an overall PFF grade of 74.0 or higher in each of the last four seasons, and he hasn’t allowed more than four sacks in a season since 2019.