2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Penei Sewell
By Charlie Campbell
Summary: Edge protection is critical given the passing-drive nature of the modern NFL because it can help teams keep their franchise quarterbacks healthy and effective. The fact that four offensive tackles went as top-13 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft is only evidence of that importance, and Sewell is considered to be a better prospect than those four tackles. There is a lot to like about Sewell for the NFL, as he is an excellent quarterback protector who is a steady contributor in the ground game.
Sewell has the skill set to be a dependable edge protector in the passing game. He is a good athlete with real quickness. Sewell pops out of his stance, gets his hands into the chest of defenders, and has quick feet to play the typewriter and cut off the edge from speed rushers. He has enough strength and quality hands to sustain blocks while being able to neutralize second efforts. His agility, footwork, and quickness make him a smooth mover in space. On screens, kick-out blocks, and zone runs, Sewell constantly shows how natural he is in space.
Sewell, however, is not an overpowering run blocker who he bulls defenders off the ball, but he scraps with attitude and is effective. Sewell uses his size and strength to manipulate and turn defenders to tie them up and keep them from getting in on tackles. He is dangerous when he fires to the second level, where he will nastily overwhelming linebackers or defensive backs with violence. It would help Sewell to continue to add more functional strength for battling NFL defensive linemen, but he could function in a power-man- or zone-blocking scheme.
Sewell is not a finished product and has room for improvement. He needs to continue to refine his technique in pass protection. Sometimes, he gets in trouble when his weight gets over his toes, so keeping his weight in a good place and maintaining good conditioning will help to prevent that. Adding more power as a run blocker would help as well. Sewell is not overly physical, and that is something he could upgrade at the pro level.
In the 2021 NFL Draft, Sewell looks likely to be a top-five pick and is a lock as a top-10 selection.
Player Comparison: Ronnie Stanely. Sewell is a tough player to compare for the NFL, but he is reminiscent of Stanley (6-6, 315) coming out of Notre Dame. Both brought great skill sets, were not overly physical, and were almost identical in size. Stanley was a top-10 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and Sewell should go that high this year in the 2021 NFL Draft.
2021 NFL Mock Draft: Charlie's | Walt's
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