There’s something special about the brotherhood on the Oregon Ducks football team.
When the Detroit Lions selected Penei Sewell seventh-overall in the 2021 NFL Draft in late April, the selection meant not one, but two Pro Ducks would be taking the field for the Lions offensive line.
Sewell would join Crosby as the second left tackle suiting up for Detroit. Crosby, of course, couldn’t wait for Sewell to join him on the field.
Earlier this week as the Lions took the field for mandatory minicamp, Crosby shared his thoughts on his new teammate and how he felt the moment Sewell’s name was called.
“Seeing him when he got drafted, I was probably one of the happiest people on Earth,” Crosby said. “Because that was my friend who got drafted and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Detroit took Crosby in the fifth-round of the 2018 NFL Draft and right behind him came Sewell, who replaced him in Oregon’s starting lineup that season as a true freshman. Sewell thrived as one of the nation’s top offensive linemen and won the Outland Trophy as a sophomore. He allowed just one sack combined in two seasons (2018 and 2019) in 1,376 snaps.
Then, in 2021, Sewell heard his name called by the Detroit Lions.
“For me, I took that moment as like -- football is finite to me, but like, friendships can last forever, and he’s (Sewell) a great friend of mine, so I wasn’t even thinking anything football related,” Crosby said.
Crosby, the 2017 Morris Trophy Winner, suited up 11 games at right tackle last season as Halapoulivaati Vaitai dealt with injuries. With Vaitai moving inside, Crosby was expected to be the team’s starting right tackle this season. That is, before the Lions drafted Sewell.
With Sewell getting first-team reps in camp, Crosby, the team’s swing tackle, isn’t letting his bond with the 20-year-old stop him from giving his best.
“Nothing’s set in stone,” he said. “For me, I really love to go out and compete. Since they first drafted me in 2018, whatever my role is for the team, I’ve gone out and just did to my best ability and every day, I’m going to go in and compete.”