2021 Lions draft grades: Penei Sewell pick earns high marks

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Jeff Risdon
·2 min read
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The draft grades for the Detroit Lions and their selection of Oregon OT Penei Sewell are starting to pour in. Nearly every major outlet likes the choice for the new Lions regime, headed by GM Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell.

Almost all the prominent media outlets gave the Lions an “A” or a “B” for the pick. That includes our friends at Touchdown Wire, where analyst Doug Farrar pegged the Lions with a solid B.

Farrar notes,

I love Sewell as much as any player in this class, but this is a really interesting decision for the Lions, as they are frightfully thin at receiver, and even in a deep class, that could be a problem for Jared Goff. New offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn loves to be creative in the run game, and Sewell can certainly help with that, but this pick does give one a second of pause.

At CBS Sports, the Sewell pick earned a B-plus. Analyst Pete Prisco writes,

“They probably thought he wouldn’t be here, so they had to be happy he was. Sewell has a ton of talent and will upgrade that line in a big way.”

Pro Football Focus didn’t do a letter grade but rated the pick “very good” and notes Sewell “could be a Lions tackle for the next decade.”

Rob Rang of Fox Sports gives the Lions an A for Sewell, while the pick earns an A-minus from Pro Football Network.

The highest mark comes from NFL.com and longtime analyst Chad Reuter. He loves the Sewell pick, giving it a rare A-plus while noting,

There was no doubt in my mind that the Lions would jump at the chance to draft Sewell. I view him as a future All-Pro who will make new quarterback Jared Goff feel much more at home in Detroit. Offensive linemen that weigh 330 pounds simply aren’t supposed to move like Sewell does.

He doesn’t have plus length for the position, but you’re not getting around this guy very easily. The Lions can play Sewell at either tackle spot. It had to be a no-brainer for the team — and their palpable excitement visible in the draft room after the pick was made showed they were thrilled.

The initial reaction for the pick is exactly what you want to see for the new Lions regime.