The anticipation for another successful season of Oregon football is right around the corner with tons of momentum streaming from a Rose Bowl victory complimented with a talented incoming recruiting class.
And when the time comes for college football to safely start up again, the nation’s best lineman will take the stage with it.
That would be 6-foot-6, 330-pound junior offensive lineman Penei Sewell.
On the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast, host Jordan Kent is joined by special guest former NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz.
Lineman to lineman, Schwartz believes that Sewell is destined for greatness next season and beyond in the NFL.
What Penei Sewell does… first of all, won the Outland Trophy as a 19-year-old. Unheard of. His ability to be powerful in the run game. He’s naturally powerful. His hips, his hands… he just knocks guys over. And then in pass protection, just his ability to move and recover and use his hips in the right moments… it looks really easy for him. — Geoff Schwartz
The mock drafts have already placed Sewell in the top-3 of the 2021 NFL Draft. Now mock drafts are different than the ‘Big Board.’ The mocks are based on the teams' needs, while the Big Board is simply the best available.
Schwartz believes Sewell will be graded higher than Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, also predicted as top draft picks next season.
Why does he believe this?
Let’s take a look at Sewell’s accomplishments in an Oregon uniform so far:
FRESHMAN YEAR (2018)
Rated the top freshman offensive lineman overall, the No. 2 offensive lineman in the Pac-12 and the No. 7 tackle in the nation with an 84.0 grade from Pro Football Focus. Sewell became the first offensive lineman in Oregon history to earn All-Pac-12 Conference honors as a true freshman.
First Oregon true freshman offensive lineman to start the first game of the season since 1997.
Unfortunately, an injury kept him out for the final six games in that 2018-2019 season. But the fact that Sewell received all those accolades in just seven games is quite impressive.
SOPHOMORE YEAR (2019)
The 2019 Outland Trophy Winner, presented to the nation’s top interior lineman regardless of offense or defense. Sewell is the first player in Oregon history to win this award.
Finished as the top-graded offensive lineman in the nation and in Pro Football Focus history at 95.5.
Also led the nation with a PFF run-blocking grade of 95.3 and was third with a pass-blocking grade of 91.1.
Sewell now returns to the Ducks for his junior year as a likely Heisman Trophy candidate.
You can listen to the full Talkin’ Ducks Podcast here.