Penei Sewell

Oregon fans, players shut down hot take that Walker Little is better than Penei Sewell 

Oregon fans, players shut down hot take that Walker Little is better than Penei Sewell 

There’s no offensive lineman in college football better than Penei Sewell right now. Period. 

Sewell took home top honors for the nation’s top offensive lineman as 2019 Outland Trophy award winner and was just the third Duck to be named a unanimous All-American in 2019. Even his Pro Football Focus every-down numbers prove he stands above the rest. 

The scary part? That was only his sophomore season and Sewell is just scratching the surface on his potential. 

In a recent game of Fact or Fiction, Rivals.com national recruiting director Mike Farrell and national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney shared their takes on whether Stanford’s Walker Little could push Oregon’s Penei Sewell as the best offensive tackle in the Pac-12 in 2020. 

Let’s just say Oregon players and fans didn’t appreciate Walker in the same conversation as the 6-6, 335-pound monster left tackle. 

Ducks safety Bennett Williams shut down the claim immediately. “Stop the slander,” Williams said in a post on Twitter. 

Oregon tight end Spencer Webb had one simple response to the comparison: “Delete the tweet.”

The trolling continued…

  

https://twitter.com/ShalinShah27/status/1279841139164450816?s=20

Be sure to download and listen for free Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football

For those who didn’t read the article, both Farrell and Gorney called the take “fiction,” noting Sewell’s special and rare athletic abilities. 

“I like Walker Little a lot and I think he comes back from injury with a vengeance this season,” Farrell said. “But better than Penei Sewell? Sewell is the best OL prospect for the NFL Draft I’ve seen in a few years and should be a top five pick next year. The Pac-12 has some great lineman this upcoming season and these two could be 1-2 in the country. But Sewell is far and away more special.” 

Gorney added, “There’s almost no doubt that if Sewell was eligible to be drafted that NFL last April, he would have gone in the top five. Now he has another year to dominate in college football and other than some quarterbacks high on the list, no one is higher than Sewell.”

OK, so neither Rivals.com reporter was actually suggesting Little is better than Sewell, but that tweet did feel like a reach. 

Rest assured Ducks Nation, Sewell is still college football’s best. He's a likely Heisman Trophy candidate in 2020 and will have a bright future for years to come after being tabbed a top-3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Olympian Devon Allen].

Trio of Oregon Ducks land on Preseason All-America First Team 

Trio of Oregon Ducks land on Preseason All-America First Team 

The Walter Camp Football Foundation posted its preseason All-America teams on Thursday, and some familiar faces top the list. 

Oregon football standouts Penei Sewell, Kayvon Thibodeaux, and Jevon Holland were represented on the Preseason All-America first team. They are the only team with a trio of players on the list and make up over half of the Pac-12 players who received First-Team honors. 

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Paul Swangard, the voice of Hayward Field.

6-foot-6, 330-pound Penei Sewell is coming off his sophomore year as the top-graded offensive lineman in the nation. Sewell led the country with a PFF run-blocking grade of 95.3, and was the winner of the 2019 Outland Trophy, a prestigious nod presented to the nation’s top interior lineman. He became the first Oregon player to take home this award. 

After receiving multiple Heisman votes in 2019, Sewell is primed to have yet again another monster season with the Ducks. Many 2021 mock drafts already have Sewell listed as a top-overall pick.  

Kayvon Thibodeaux, a former five-star recruit, has lived up to the hype. As the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2019 recruiting class, Thibodeaux had a team-high nine sacks last season, second among freshman nationally. He also earned multiple accolades, including Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year. 

Jevon Holland was tabbed a Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist and had a Pac-12 tying four interceptions in 2019. He became the first player to lead Oregon in interceptions in consecutive seasons and was named to Pro Football Focus’ All-Pac-12 team. In 14 games for the Ducks, Holland recorded 66 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss.

The Ducks are coming off a mighty season in 2019, finishing 10-2 in the regular season and securing wins in the Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl. Expectations remain sky high this season, even without star quarterback Justin Herbert, as Oregon is the favorite to win the Pac-12 once again. 

The last time Oregon won consecutive Pac-12 titles was nearly 10 years ago with Chip Kelly (2009, 2010, 2011) at helm. 

Listen and subscribe to “Sports Uncovered” for free wherever you listen to podcasts.

Oregon Ducks have a pipeline of Top-10 NFL Draft picks for years to come

Oregon Ducks have a pipeline of Top-10 NFL Draft picks for years to come

PSA: Get used to hearing Oregon Ducks taken off the board early and often in future NFL Drafts.

Why?

Because Mario Cristobal is leading the way. It starts with recruiting, which we all know that Cristobal is one of the best. Then it’s about turning those guys into NFL caliber players, which we’ve seen happen since Cristobal took over as head coach on Dec. 8, 2017.

But not just NFL players… top-10 draft picks.

On the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast, host Jordan Kent is joined by special guest GoDucks.com editor-in-chief Rob Moseley, who joined the Oregon Athletic Communications Office in July 2013 and works as the Editor in Chief for all Oregon athletics.

I think that just naturally follows when you’re recruiting at an elite level. Guys break the mold every year. Three-star guys and two-star guys succeed in college and upset the rankings a little bit in the college level and you see it in the draft… The odds that you’re going to succeed are just so much higher, the higher rated recruit you are. — Rob Moseley

A few examples come to mind: offensive lineman Penei Sewell and safety Jevon Holland. Both are projected as top-10 draft picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Those are two kids too who the moment they got here, you’re like ‘Oh, those are dudes.’ — Rob Moseley

The Sewell Heisman hype train left the station the moment he stepped onto the field.

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.

Penei Sewell, he’s going to be a guy like Chase Young this year: everyone was like ‘He’s the best player, but I don’t know if he’ll be the No. 1 pick. We’ll see what teams need if they’re picking No. 1.’ But Chase Young was the best player in this year’s draft class and you can see a similar discussion about Penei Sewell next year. — Rob Moseley

He’s not wrong. 

And then there’s Jevon Holland.

He is one of three players returning this upcoming season with four or more interceptions in the last two seasons. Holland’s nine interceptions from 2018-2019 were tied for the third most in the FBS over that span and the Ducks are 7-1 when he has an INT.

You look at the versatility a player like Jevon Holland has, it just seems like a perfect fit for what you need to do to play defense now. He’s big enough to be a safety, come up and tackle anybody who’s carrying the ball and yet athletic enough to cover just about anybody too. — Rob Moseley

The highest number of Ducks selected in an NFL Draft is six: 1940, 1943, 1950, 1972, 2002, and 2009. This upcoming year could indeed break that record.

Be sure to check out the full Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest GoDucks.com editor-in-chief Rob Moseley.

Penei Sewell will grade higher than Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields next season

Penei Sewell will grade higher than Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields next season

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.

Oregon OT Penei Sewell a projected top pick in 2021 Mock Drafts

Oregon OT Penei Sewell a projected top pick in 2021 Mock Drafts

With the 2020 NFL Draft in the books, the 2021 Mock Drafts have come out in full force.

Looks like the Oregon Ducks will go back-to-back drafts with a top ten selection. 

The question isn't whether offensive tackle Penei Sewell will go in the first round, but how high.

Some think the 6'6", 325-pound reigning Outland Trophy winner can go first overall, such as Bleacher Report NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller.

Sewell's 2019 tape showed no weaknesses. If he continues to play at that clip in 2020, he'll be a lock to be the first overall pick if a team without a need at quarterback selects in this spot.  - Matt Miller

Others were more bullish on Sewell, but due to the need at quarterback for franchises picking highly rather than knocking the tackle. Draft analysts nearly universally have Sewell as the draft's best non-quarterback prospect.

Many have Sewell going second overall such as 247Sports' Charles Power, Walter Football, and Sporting News.

Penei Sewell has arguably been the top offensive lineman in college football since his freshman season. The Utah native has been flawless in pass protection and in Oregon’s run game. He’s shown some next-level awareness and vision in quickly recognizing free runners from his left tackle spot. - Charles Power

Additionally, CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson and Fox Sports' Jason McIntrye have Sewell going third overall. 

DraftKings has Sewell as the third most likely player to be selected first overall at +400, behind Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (-305) and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields (+300). Two of the three most likely players to be taken first overall in 2021 are scheduled to play in Autzen Stadium on September 12th when Ohio State visits Oregon. 

WATCH: Penei Sewell's emotional acceptance speech of the Outland Trophy

WATCH: Penei Sewell's emotional acceptance speech of the Outland Trophy

A month ago, Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell won the Outland Trophy which recognizes the nation's top interior lineman.

He became the first Oregon Duck and the first Polynesian football player to win the award.

In his emotional acceptance speech, he remembers talking to Coach Cristobal about winning the award and bringing it to Eugene.

I will never forget. It was right after fall camp, before the season started, [Cristobal] looked me in the eye and said 'Don't wait. Go get it this year.' Well coach, I'm here and I went and got it.

Sewell clearly adores his head coach: "The trust you have in me and the confidence you gave to me is the reason why I'm standing here. And I'm forever grateful for you. Forever thankful for the way you've treated me and my family. You are a man of your word."

But reading the quotes doesn't do his speech justice, watch it for yourself. 

 

Oregon vs. Wisconsin by the numbers: Offensive and defensive lines compared

Oregon vs. Wisconsin by the numbers: Offensive and defensive lines compared

Both the Oregon Ducks (11-2, 9-1 Pac-12) and Wisconsin Badgers (10-3, 8-2 Big Ten) prioritize their rushing attack and playing more physical than the opponent. The Wisconsin Badgers especially desire to dominate time of possession since they run on over 70 percent of their offensive plays to keep churning clock. You can’t play that way without stellar play from your offensive line. However, the Ducks’ offensive line was named a finalist for the Joe Moore Award.

To put it simply, the winner in the trenches will win the 2020 Rose Bowl. 

A quick glance at the numbers.

RUSHING YARDS PER GAME:

Oregon: 185.8 yards per game

Wisconsin: 201.1 yards per game

RUNNING PLAYS PER GAME:

Oregon: 36.6 attempts per game

Wisconsin: 43.8 yards per game

RUSHING YARDS ALLOWED:

Oregon: 106.8 yards per game

Wisconsin: 104.0 yards per game

SACKS ALLOWED PER GAME:

Oregon: 1.76 per game

Wisconsin: 1.84 per game

SACKS PER GAME:

Oregon: 3.15 per game

Wisconsin: 3.76 per game

TACKLES-FOR-LOSS PER GAME:

Oregon: 7.23 per game

Wisconsin: 6.69 per game

OREGON (11-2 9-1 Pac-12)

Under Mario Cristobal, the Ducks have embraced being the most physical team every time they step on the field. As a former offensive line coach, he still insists on coaching the line to give the correct fundamentals. The result? An offensive line that was not only a finalist for the Joe Moore Award given to the nation’s best offensive line, but the Outland Trophy winner sophomore Penei Sewell. 

Just look at how they handled a Utah defense that leads the nation in rushing defense.

The defensive line for the Ducks has plenty of talent to compete with the Badgers. Their defensive unit ranks tenth in the nation in rushing defense, giving up only 106.8 yards per game. 

Players to watch:

Junior Jordon Scott will demand double teams or else he’ll terrorize the backfield. Just look at when he blew up Washington’s quarterback sneak attempt during his sophomore season on a 4th and 1. 

The freshman phenom Kayvon Thibodeaux came into the season hoping for a double digit sack season. He currently sits at nine on the season. In the Pac-12 Championship, the former No. 1 high school player in the nation had his best game of his career with a blocked punt and 2.5 sacks.

Sophomore Penei Sewell was named the best interior lineman in the nation, so of course he’ll be named a player to watch. He even got some votes for the Heisman Trophy. When the Ducks need to get a few yards, they’ll likely run to the left side of the line behind Sewell and senior guard Shane Lemieux. 

WISCONSIN (10-3, 7-2 Big Ten)

Wisconsin wants to run the ball and does so on 70 percent of their offensive plays. That philosophy can only go as far as the offensive line can get them. Jonathan Taylor may be the nation’s most prolific running back, but a running back is only as good as the blocks set by his linemen. Their defensive line isn’t a slouch either as their defense ranks eighth in the country in rushing defense. 

Players to watch:

Center Tyler Biadasz was a unanimous All-American in 2019 and first-team All-Big Ten in 2018 and 2019. The junior also took home the Rimington Trophy Award which is given to the nation’s best center, becoming the first Badger to do so. He’s considered the Badger’s best professional prospect and expected to go in the first or second round in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft assuming he declares.

While the Badgers rotate their defensive line a lot, sophomore Matt Henningsen has been the most productive defensive lineman on the team this season totaling 24 tackles and 4 sacks. Their line mostly tries to fill gaps for their linebackers to finish plays though.

Oregon Ducks OT Penei Sewell named Co-Polynesian College Football Player of the Year

Oregon Ducks OT Penei Sewell named Co-Polynesian College Football Player of the Year

The awards just keep coming for Penei Sewell.

The consensus All-American and reigning Outland Trophy winner’s latest award came from the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame, who gave him the Co-Polyenisan College Football Player of the Year, along with Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. 

Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal broke the news to Sewell and his family.

Sewell becomes the second Oregon Duck to win the award following Marcus Mariota in 2014, the inaugural recipient of the award. 

Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman Jesse Sapolu gave a statement on awarding both players the award this season.

On behalf of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, we congratulate Tua and Penei on terrific seasons. They are both tremendous role models and a source of great pride for Polynesians everywhere.

Sewell and Tagovailoa will receive the awards formally during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration Dinner (January 17, 2020), along with being recognized during the Polynesian Bowl (January 18, 2020) in Oahu, Hawai'i.

Three Ducks named to AP All-American teams

Three Ducks named to AP All-American teams

The Associated Press released its All-America teams on Monday and three Oregon Ducks made the list.

Left tackle Penei Sewell earned AP First-Team All-American, making him the eighth consensus All-American in Oregon football history. Sewell also earned first-team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and FWAA. The sophomore also became the first player in Oregon history to win the Outland Trophy and just the third Pac-12 player to do so since 1999.

Left guard Shane Lemieux was named to the AP All-American Second Team and right tackle Calvin Throckmorton was named to the AP All-American Third Team. The seniors each made 51 consecutive starts.

Sewell (4), Lemieux (2) and Throckmorton (2) combined to win the Pac-12 Offensive Lineman of the Week award eight times during the regular season. Washington State was the only other team to win the award more than once.

Opposing corners should fear Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell

Opposing corners should fear Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell

Left side, strong side.

Last week, Oregon sophomore Penei Sewell was honored as one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy which is presented to the nation’s best interior lineman on offense or defense. Sewell is named alongside Wisconsin junior center Tyler Biadasz and Auburn senior defensive tackle Derrick Brown.

This honor comes to Sewell in his sophomore season. The Outland Trophy committee recognized and honored Sewell as a finalist after 18 games played. 

It’s just a blessing. Growing up, I’ve always wanted one of those and to see that I’m a finalist, I want to go harder. -- Penei Sewell

How impressive is it that Sewell, in his second year of collegiate football, is up for this prestigious award? Very. Sewell joins Oregon legend and five-time NFL pro bowler Haloti Ngata (2005) as the only two players in program history be a finalist.

“I think more than anything it’s the accountability and what he’s put on tape. He plays with physicality and is graded out real well. Not a lot of mental errors. The things you’re looking for when you take those accolades,” said offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo.

Here are some of Sewell’s accomplishments as a freshman:

- USA Today Freshman All-American

- The No. 2 offensive lineman in the Pac-12

- The No. 7 tackle in the nation with an 84.0 grade from Pro Football Focus

At 6-foot-6, 325 pounds, Sewell has been integral in defending quarterback Justin Herbert’s blindside in addition to using his strength and agility to get to the second level of the defense quickly creating space for screens or chunk plays. Imagine being an opposing corner and seeing Sewell with 120+ extra pounds on you charging with a determined and fierce look in his eyes to get you on the ground.

If you’re a corner or something, you should definitely fear him especially in screens because he’s willing to come… I’ve never seen a guy his size be able to move in space like that. It’s really impressive. -- senior offensive lineman Shane Lemieux.

Looming for Sewell and Oregon is the Pac-12 Championship game. If Oregon is to move the ball against the stout Utah Utes defense, Sewell will need to bring his A-game once again.

The Outland Trophy winner will be announced on Thursday, December 12.