PFF says Oregon’s Penei Sewell is one of the best offensive tackle prospects ever graded

Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell
Apr 20, 2019; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Penei Sewell (58) points the scoreboard after the Oregon spring game at Autzen Stadium. Mighty Oregon beat Fighting Ducks 20-13. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Analytics powerhouse Pro Football Focus offered some pretty high praise for Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell on Wednesday, dubbing him one of the best they’ve ever graded at his position.

The veteran of 20 starts for the Ducks finished the 2019 season as PFF’s highest-graded lineman since 2014. It isn’t hard to understand why; he’s allowed just one sack in 1,376 snaps.

The 2019 Outland Trophy winner is projected to be one of the first two or three players selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, assuming he stays healthy. If it wasn’t for Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields’ likely inclusion in next year’s class, Sewell would be a rare lineman with a chance to go No. 1 overall.

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“Sewell is one of the best offensive line prospects we’ve seen in some time,” PFF wrote. “There is a decent question about how valuable a top-end lineman is over an average player, but if that caution is thrown to the wind, he will make for a decent top-five pick, especially given the difference in salary between elite tackles on veteran deals and those on rookie deals.”

There’s a sizeable gap between Sewell and the next-best offensive tackle who’s expected to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft.  Stanford’s Walker Little and Texas’ Samuel Cosmi are potential first-rounders in their own right, but neither has the limitless ceiling that Sewell possesses.

“As a sophomore, he went out and won the Outland Trophy as the best lineman in college football,” Mel Kiper said as part of his first 2021 NFL Draft Big Board. “Sewell has everything NFL scouts look for in an offensive tackle, and he’s going to be coveted in 2021.”

Few prospects begin their draft cycle with little-to-no holes in their game. There’s always room for improvement. For Sewell, questions about his pass protection will likely come up throughout the season. But as is the case for most players who are the undisputed best at their position, those concerns will be more about finding reasons to nitpick than any legitimate red flags.

Check out Sewell’s tape on his PFD Profile Page.

Bryan Perez

Bryan is the founder of Pro Football Draft. His work has been featured on The Draft Network, NBC Sports and USA Today. Former CFL scout.

Follow him on Twitter: @BryanPerezNFL