Ducks

Mirabal says to not expect Kingsley Suamataia to be the next Penei Sewell

Ducks

One elite tackle prospect in, one elite tackle prospect out.

As Penei Sewell undergoes the pre-draft process and awaits a likely top-ten selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Oregon Ducks welcomed the top offensive line signee in program history: Kingsley Suamataia.

[RELATED]: Penei Sewell talking to Chargers, reunion with Justin Herbert possible

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It's reasonable for Oregon fans to compare Suamataia and Sewell. Not only are both excellent tackle prospects from Utah, but the two players also grew up considering one another cousins, along with Oregon linebacker Noah Sewell. 

Of course, Ducks fans have dreamed about having the "next Penei Sewell" lineup and start as a true freshman this upcoming season just as Sewell did in 2018. 

However, Oregon offensive line coach Alex Mirabal cautions the fan base from doing that or even comparing the two players.

"No, I don't think it's fair at all," Mirabal told the media during Saturday's zoom session. "I think everybody's different. I really do believe that. 

Penei is a generational guy and obviously, Kingsley's going to work to try and become like that but I don't think it's fair to Kingsley.

Alex Mirabal on comparisons of Kingsley Suamataia and Penei Sewell

Mirabal understands why Oregon fans would make the comparison, however.

"I know its a natural comparison... They're basically family and Kingsley played with Noah and stuff like that. But I don't think that's a fair assessment."

 

Rather than hype up Kingsley as the second coming, Mirabal's focused on making sure the Ducks get the most they possibly can out of Suamataia while he's in Eugene.

"I hope Kingsley becomes the best version of himself and doesn't become the next Penei Sewell. I think Kingsley's going to become the best version of him and that's going to be good enough for him and his future and it's going to be good enough for the Ducks." 

The Ducks coach contrasted the two tackles' bodies when they stepped onto Eugene's campus following signing their letters of intent.

"They're different. One's longer and more linear in terms of Kings. [Sewell] is more of a bull. One's weighing 305 pounds... When Penei got here he was like in the 370s. So physically they're different."

But, that's not to say the dream of him starting as a true freshman isn't possible. Kingsley will have every opportunity to win a starting job, just as Penei Sewell did in 2018.

"When a kid puts it on film, the other players see it too," said Mirabal. "When Penei Sewell came in here in 2018, there were five returning starters... We're like, 'Man how are we gonna break this news?' They were like 'Yeah coach, we see it on film.'"

As of now as spring football begins, Suamataia is listed as the No. 2 Left Tackle behind seven-year senior and returning starter George Moore.

Despite that competition, Mirabal praised Moore for being an excellent mentor for Suamataia, claiming that type of unselfishness is why Oregon produces such great offensive line talent.

"George Moore is helping Kingsley more than anybody," said Mirabal. "Steven Jones is helping Kingsley more than anybody. Those guys, they know their job, their legacy, is to help those guys continue the tradition of offensive line play at the University of Oregon.

"At the same time, those kids... are competing against them but we don't have unselfishness in our room... They're like brothers: big brother, little brother."

But do not get it twisted, Mirabal added none of the five returning starters will be an "easy-out," including Moore.

"They went through the lumps last year. They went through playing for the first time and now they look like a veteran offensive line in spring ball."

Considering how solid the offensive line finished the 2020 season, Kingsley will have his work cut out for him to overtake anyone for a starting spot but even if he does not see much playing time in 2021, the Ducks know he will be on the field sooner than later.

In fact, Mirabal expects Sewell and Kingsley to have the same destination: the NFL.

"Do I think they end up in the same place? In a Pro Day three years from now? Absolutely. No doubt about that.

I think he's got the potential to be a first-round pick down the road.

Alex Mirabal on the NFL potential of Kingsley Suamataia

"That I will say and I'm not gonna shy away from that." 

Duck fans will get their first look at the 5-star tackle prospect in action during Oregon's spring game on Saturday, May 1st at Autzen Stadium.