Detroit Lions: Rookie Penei Sewell continues to silence doubters

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Penei Sewell is having himself a fantastic rookie campaign with the Detroit Lions.

I can’t help but recall how excited the Detroit Lions front office, ownership, and coaching staff were in April when Sewell fell into their lap seventh overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.  It was one of those iconic videos that just made Lions fans smile.

General Manager Brad Holmes understood the organization needed to build its foundation before erecting the walls and roof.  Holmes clearly focused on strengthening the trenches and building from the inside out with Sewell in round one, followed by Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill in rounds two and three.

The jury is still out on Onwuzurike, but many of you who regularly read my work understand how excited I had been before the draft about Detroit having the opportunity to land Sewell and McNeill later in the draft.  McNeill has flashed a few times during his rookie season but needs to be a more consistent contributor to Aaron Glenn’s defense upfront.

The Lions pass-rush, or lack thereof, has been the story around Detroit dating back to when Ndamukong Suh left town.

The Detroit Lions hit a home run with rookie Penei Sewell as he improves week to week.

Sewell is proving the Detroit brass right for drafting him rather than selecting a skill position like a receiver.  Some fans fail to understand; before drafting someone like DeVonta Smith, the organization needs to shore up their offensive line and quarterback positions.  Smith is like the shell of a Ferrari, but the offensive line is the motor; a Ferrari looks phenomenal on the outside, but you’re not going anywhere without an engine.

The Lions have not found their next franchise quarterback, which will be the teams’ next order of business.

Pro Football Focus (PFF) recently shared this impressive stat about Sewell.  He’s allowed, on average, just one quarterback pressure per game over his last five without yielding a sack.

This is very impressive for the rookie tackle, especially knowing he primarily was forced to block T.J Watt two weeks ago and Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney this past weekend.

The biggest concern I had about Sewell was his ability to play right tackle in the NFL after Taylor Decker returned to the lineup at left tackle.

Sewell struggled mightily on the right side throughout the summer. With Decker suffering a finger injury just before Week One that required surgery, the coaching staff quickly slid Sewell back to his natural position and figured they’d sort everything out regarding who plays where when everyone is healthy later.

Well, Sewell has moved back to the right side with Decker back and is nearly pitching a no-hitter.  According to PFF, Sewell recorded a stellar 81.1 overall grade against the Browns this past Sunday.

Next. LeBron James is officially public enemy number one. dark

Over the past five games, Sewell’s averaged a 75.6 overall grade compared to 57.4 through the season’s first five games.  The proof is in the pudding; Sewell continues to improve and is the perfect choice for the Detroit Lions.