The NFL season isn’t over yet, but all teams have their eyes on the 2021 Draft. The NFL Draft is one of the most exciting football events of the year. Trevor Lawrence has already stolen everyone’s attention for this year’s event. Lawrence is a once in a lifetime talent, but there are a lot of other great players that are eligible in 2021.
I love scouting the offensive line prospects leading up to the three-day event. This year’s offensive line class is special, and the headliner is one of the most talented prospects that I’ve seen in the past decade. This player is University of Oregon left tackle, Penei Sewell.
Sewell’s resume as a Duck speaks for itself. I believe the 6’6” junior is going to be one of the best tackles in the NFL for the next decade.
When I studied Sewell’s film, I couldn’t help but see a substantial resemblance between him and Tennessee Titans’ left tackle, Taylor Lewan. Lewan was the 11th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Michigan.
Will Sewell be as good as Taylor Lewan? That’s to be determined. However, Sewell is very similar to Lewan coming out of college.
Let’s breakdown the evidence!
Penei Sewell vs Taylor Lewan – The Measurables
Penei Sewell is listed at 6’6” and 325 pounds. At the 2014 NFL Combine, Taylor Lewan measured 6’7” and weighed 309 pounds. We will know more about how Sewell tests after the 2021 NFL Combine, but I expect him to be lighter than 325 pounds when he weighs in inside Lucas Oil Stadium. At first glance, the two have very similar measurables.
Taylor Lewan put up freakish numbers at the combine in 2014. He ran a 4.87 40-yard dash at 309 pounds. Very few offensive linemen break 5.00 seconds in the 40-yard dash, so this put Lewan in an elite category before he even stepped foot on an NFL field.
Sewell has shown tremendous athleticism at the University of Oregon. The Oregon scheme forces offensive linemen to be athletes and Sewell stood out amongst a talented Ducks’ group up front. His film makes me believe that he’ll test well, but this will be determined in late April in Indianapolis.
Penei Sewell vs Taylor Lewan – The Accolades
Accolades don’t always mean that a player will succeed in the NFL. Although, both athletes had a vast amount of recognition at the collegiate level. Taylor Lewan was a two-time first team All-American selection on the offensive line by multiple media outlets. The tackle was also a three-time All-Conference selection in the Big Ten and a two time Big Ten Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year.
Penei Sewell is just as decorated in the Pac 12 Conference and on the national level as Lewan was in his career. As a sophomore in 2019, Sewell won the Outland Trophy which is given to the best offensive lineman in the country.
In addition to this tremendous honor, the 325 pounder was a unanimous first-team All-American, an All-Pac 12 selection, and the PFF Pac 12 Player of the Year. If an offensive lineman is named player of the year in any Power Five Conference, you know they’re a tremendous talent.
Penei Sewell vs Taylor Lewan – The Mean Streak
It’s tough to win in the NFL if you can’t throw the football. Franchises love players who can pass block and keep quarterbacks clean. Fast feet can overshadow meanness for team’s judging NFL prospects, but we can’t forget about the criticalness of nasty play in an offensive lineman.
Taylor Lewan loved when Michigan ran the football in his time in Ann Arbor.
What do I mean by this?
I mean that he wanted to be aggressive and punish any defensive lineman on the opposite side of the football.
Sewell is just like Lewan in the run game. He is tenacious and has a tremendous first step. This allows him to lift and drive defenders in an effortless manner. He is always looking to get the last piece of a defender before the whistle blows.
You can teach technique. You can’t teach nastiness. I think Lewan played a little meaner than Sewell in his time in college, but these two both put a hurting on countless defensive linemen, linebackers, and secondary defenders throughout their careers.
Penei Sewell vs Taylor Lewan – The Footwork
For a left tackle to thrive in the NFL, they must have tremendous athleticism. Lewan had above average footwork. He didn’t give up too many sacks in the Big Ten throughout his time as a Wolverine.
Sewell displays some of the same technical issues in pass protection as Lewan did, but they both demonstrated the rare ability to consistently neutralize edge rushers in their time in the collegiate ranks.
Sewell used his length better than Lewan, but they both had a vicious punch which didn’t allow opposing rushers to have much success. Sewell will need to improve his efficiency, but his first step is explosive. It’s better than Lewan’s during his senior season in 2013.
The bottom line is that both these athletes were physical freaks in college. Sewell exhibits the same quick and fiery feet as Lewan. This had NFL general managers drooling in 2014 with Lewan and the same thing is occurring now with Penei Sewell.
Penei Sewell vs Taylor Lewan – Tough to Find Flaws
Each player displayed a lot of great skills throughout their college seasons. When you look for weaknesses in both athletes out of college, you have to knit pick to find flaws. This is a great sign in any offensive line prospect.
Sewell checks all the boxes. He is as technically sound of an offensive lineman that you’ll find entering the draft. He beats defensive lineman into the ground, and he led the Oregon offensive line the past three years.
Taylor Lewan came with the same characteristics coming out of Michigan in 2014. The sky is the limit for Penei Sewell in the NFL. Taylor Lewan is my favorite competitor in the league so it’s exciting to see a similar prospect coming out of college this year.
I can’t wait to see what Sewell does at the next level.
Follow me on IG @tannerkern and Twitter @tannerkern_ for game previews, betting analysis, and the best stories from the sports world. Be sure and keep up with the Sports 2.0 Network, Sports 2.0 Twitter, and Knup Sports for all of my latest content and best takes from around the sports and sports betting world as well!!