One of the most exciting things about training camp is that we’ll finally get a look at the Detroit Lions’ new and improved(?) offensive and defensive lines. That means a closer look at Detroit’s first three draft picks: offensive tackle Penei Sewell and defensive tackles Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill. But unlike OTAs and minicamp, we’ll see them all with actual pads and contact.
Before we go breaking down the performances of Lions rookies, the fellas over at The Athletic took a closer look at Sewell’s two years of tape at Oregon. The Lions’ first-round pick clearly made a big impression on general manager Brad Holmes, and it’s fair to say that both Lions writers from The Athletic, Chris Burke and Nick Baumgardner, are on board too.
“I could watch Penei Sewell tape until there is nothing left to watch for the rest of time,” Baumgardner wrote. “This guy, athletically, is as advertised. And when you consider how ridiculously big the advertisement has always been surrounding him (and he’s not that old, folks), it really says something that his tape often delivers. He is a behemoth on wheels.”
Baumgardner and Burke do a really good job highlighting the quickness and athleticism that make Sewell special, if the 8.99 RAS wasn’t convincing enough for you. But they also take a fair look at some of the holes in Sewell’s tape and why it may take some time for him to get acclimated at the next level.
“He can get a little overaggressive off the snap, get caught lunging and leave himself exposed off both shoulders,” Burke noted.
Ultimately, though, both seem to agree that Sewell may hit the ground running and look like he belongs very early in his career. Despite entering the NFL at just 20 years old, expectations are sky high for the former Oregon Duck.
“I think he has the skill set to be a stud right away, like as early as that Week 1 test against Nick Bosa, Dee Ford and the 49ers’ defense,” Burke wrote. “The top rookie tackles last year were Tristan Wirfs and probably Jedrick Wills. Sewell can have the type of impact they had.”
The whole article is definitely worth a read. Check it out here.
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