2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Penei Sewellby Alex Barbour March 27, 2021 2 comments
Monstrosity alert! Penei Sewell is an absolute beast. Being the blindside tackle for the offensive rookie of the year, Justin Herbert, Sewell definitely has his stripes. He is young, athletic, and straight-up dangerous. Like Quenton Nelson coming out of Notre Dame, many think Sewell already is projected to wear a gold jacket at the end of his career. Let’s see if the hype is truly warranted.
Make sure to check out all of our other 2021 NFL Draft Scouting Reports.
Name: Penei Sewell
Position: Offensive Tackle
Weight: 325 lbs
Run Blocking (9.5/10)
Sewell is an absolute mauler. His legs have enormous strength to push defenders back with ease, not to mention that his low center of gravity will be a major asset so long as his balance issues are corrected. Sewell also has the speed and strength to move defenders in any direction as well as annihilate anyone at the next level. There really is not much to say apart from wow. The former Duck’s only problem lies in the fact that sometimes his hands deflect off of defenders, allowing them to pass unblocked; however, this is rare. Zone run teams will maximize Sewell’s potential: his mobility and power are second to none. He will still thrive in a power-run scheme, but other linemen will fit better into those schemes like Teven Jenkins.
For more on Jenkins, check out our scouting report on him here.
Pass Blocking (7.75/10)
Sewell is much rawer here. His anchor is unbelievably solid, not to mention that he has a certain technique that allows him to maximize length yet still maintain control. This will be highlighted later, but he needs to be more consistent with that move. His footwork (which, too, will be talked about shortly) needs work, but he usually is in front of the defender. Sometimes, Sewell will get too stagnant and allow a defender past him untouched. Hopefully, this is coachable. He also dealt with some hand-fighting problems that may occur at the next level, but again, that is easily coachable. The bottom line is that Sewell delivers power and athleticism at the sacrifice of form and fluidity. He can definitely develop further, but coaching may allow the Oregon product to reach his ceiling. That is scary.
Sewell is either too close or too rangy with his arms. Defenders will never out-length him, but they will be able to counter against the length at the next level far greater. One amazing move that Sewell does (as mentioned before) is extend one arm out to make contact at range and punch with the other. This is extremely unique and effective, but he did not do it as consistently as he should have. There is great potential with his technique here for sure. On the other hand, he does tend to overstretch his arms on certain plays, which allows defenders to disengage easily. These issues are fixable, but they also are notable.
Note: This scale has five as average and nine as elite.
This may be the area for most improvement. Sewell has great mobility, but he uses speed and agility over fluidity; his steps are heavy and choppy rather than a glide. This may allow faster rushers to catch him off guard and potentially get around or make an inside counter to beat Sewell easily. Again, this is easily fixable given the under two years of experience that Sewell has playing at a higher level. He does keep his body square to the defender, which is a plus; however, this is a very huge problem: the former Duck has major balance issues. There were multiple times where Sewell fell over either from him being too far forward or too far on his heels. That is dangerous at the next level, and it will be the biggest question mark regarding his transition to the NFL.
Sewell usually manhandles people into submission. There are instances, however, where his hands are abnormally close to each other. This is a major red flag because technicians can tear Sewell apart by controlling his arms. In short, he has no control over the defender. As mentioned before, he also sometimes punches in the wrong spot, causing his hands to bounce off and allow the defender to continue unimpeded. There may be some cause for concern, but this is fixable.
Sewell is usually very solid with his processor. He swaps blocks well and can target defenders in zone blocking, both on the line and at the next level. Sewell even took on two defenders each with one hand in order to give Herbert enough time to throw. He did fall down on that play, however. On the other hand, Sewell was seen a few times being stagnant. It almost was like he felt in position and stopped moving, but the defender went right past him. This was seen rarely, but it is something to bring up.
Holy moly. If he were more fluid on his drop steps, this would be a 10 easily. It is almost impossible to find a player with the size, agility, speed, and strength combination that Sewell has. It is unreal to see him on the field. It looks as if he’s a man among boys.
Power at the Point of Attack (9.75/10)
Only Nelson can compare to the power generated by Sewell. Again, he is a mauler, a pancake machine. It is just those few reps where he misplaces his hands that drop this below a 10. Wow, just wow.
Positional Versatility (9.0/10)
Sewell can play anywhere except maybe center. That is not even confirmed yet. So long as he is coached properly, Sewell may be the greatest of all time at his respective position.
Competitive Toughness (4.0/5)
Sewell usually plays his heart out. There are a couple of plays in each game that he appear lackadaisical, however. He sometimes quits on the play before it is over, but that is not common enough to state that there is an actual issue present.
Sewell played one of his two seasons fully. The other year he had injuries that derailed his complete season. Being able to play one full season does show that he can be durable enough, however.
Unbelievable. Usually hearing Hall of Fame talk about a raw prospect is just to create headlines. That is not the case here. With the right mentorship and leadership, Sewell may be the best player at his position in NFL history. That is his ceiling. Human beings are just not built this way: fast, quick, powerful, and smart. Sewell has it all. Iron out the little mistakes and he will turn out a thousand times better than Trevor Lawrence could. There is no unanimous greatest of all time left tackle for the NFL. However, Sewell has the potential to change that.
Final Grade (81.5/100): First Overall (talent-wise)
Player Comp: More athletic, less fluid Jonathan Ogden