2021 NFL Draft: Penei Sewell drafted by Detroit Lions at No. 7

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Dylan Mickanen
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2021 NFL Draft: Penei Sewell drafted by Detroit Lions at No. 7 originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

The Detroit Lions got arguably the best player in the NFL Draft.

With the seventh overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Lions selected Oregon tackle and 2019 Outland Trophy Winner Penei Sewell to jumpstart the rebuild in Detroit.

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Sewell will join his predecessor at Oregon, Tyrell Crosby in Detroit. 

Heading into the draft, most mocks had Sewell going as high as fifth to the Cincinnati Bengals at fifth overall, or falling like he did to No. 7. 

Sewell is the second consecutive Oregon player to be taken inside the top-seven of the NFL Draft, joining Justin Herbert (2020). 

In fact, he's tied for the ninth-highest drafted Oregon player of all time with DeForest Buckner trailing just George Shaw (1st, 1955), Marcus Mariota (2nd, 2015), Dion Jordan (3rd, 2013), Joey Harrington (3rd, 2002), Akili Smith (3rd, 1999), Gary Zimmerman (3rd, 1984 Supplemental Draft), Ahmad Rashad (4th, 1972) and Justin Herbert (6th, 2020).

As a 19-year old sophomore, the 6-foot-6, 330-pound left tackle had a run-blocking grade of 95.3 from Pro Football Focus and was third with a pass-blocking grade of 91.1.

He also was a unanimous first-team All-American selection as well as the Ducks first-ever Outland Trophy winner.

He opted out of the 2020 college football season to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.

Going seventh overall may have been too low, if you trust Oregon Ducks offensive line coach Alex Mirabal.

"[Sewell] and Trevor Lawrence are the best players in the country, hands down, and then you can fight for whoever you want at third," Mirabal said leading up to the draft. 

"I don't care if you need a quarterback. You need a quarterback? You better take a darn left tackle who's gonna protect him."

The Lions took his advice Thursday evening.