If Penei Sewell slips, the Chargers must reunite him with Justin Herbert


The last time Penei Sewell played a football game, he celebrated a Rose Bowl victory alongside graduating senior Justin Herbert

Now after opting out of the 2020 college football season, the next time Sewell suits up it may be on the same field as Herbert again. 

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The Los Angeles Chargers hold the 13th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft which seems like far too low for Sewell to go, but recent mock drafts have inexplicably had the so-called "generational tackle prospect" fall outside the top-ten entirely, such as this mock from PFF's Anthony Treash, who does clarify the chances Sewell falls to No. 11 as "slim" and that mock has is what he would do, not what he thinks the NFL will do.

But that mock hasn't been alone. Others have had Sewell experience similar slides with Miami and Cincinnati taking skill position players like Devonta Smith, Ja'marr Chase or Kyle Pitts and four or five quarterbacks going inside the top-ten alone. 

If that slide happens during the actual event, Los Angeles owes it to their franchise quarterback to move up a few spots and get Sewell to protect Herbert's blindside for the next decade. 

Here's the scenario it could happen. 

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence
  2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson
  3. Miami Dolphins: Devonta Smith
  4. Atlanta Falcons: Justin Fields
  5. Cincinnati Bengals: Kyle Pitts
  6. Philadelphia Eagles: Ja'Marr Chase
  7. Detroit Lions: Trey Lance
  8. Carolina Panthers: Mac Jones

If the draft order looks something like that in reality, then Los Angeles will have a prime opportunity to trade up to No. 9 with Denver or No. 10 with Dallas to take Sewell.


According to the NFL Draft Trade Value Chart, it would take the Chargers trading No. 13, a third-round pick, and a fourth-round pick to move up to No. 9 with Denver. To have the left tackle position filled for the next decade seems like a great deal Los Angeles should take.

Meanwhile, Denver could be hesitant to do so but with all five quarterbacks off the board by its pick, Denver may see many defensive players on the same tier and will take who is available at No. 13 while accepting additional draft capital in the process. 

Why should this be a priority and dream scenario for Los Angeles? Justin Herbert had arguably the greatest rookie season by a quarterback in NFL history in 2020 but did so while being pressured at an absurd rate. In fact, the Chargers offensive line received a 54.5 pass-blocking grade from PFF, good for third-to-last in the NFL last season. 

With a franchise quarterback under center in Justin Herbert, the franchise must do everything in its power to maximize his career and put him in the best position to succeed. 

Moving up to draft Sewell for the little additional draft capital it would cost seems like a no-brainer with that mindset.