Lions' Penei Sewell rookie's struggles nothing to worry about, GM Brad Holmes says

Lions' Penei Sewell rookie's struggles nothing to worry about, GM Brad Holmes says

September 3, 2021

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If you were thinking Detroit Lions rookie Penei Sewell was a bust already, general manager Brad Holmes might urge you to reconsider. 

Sewell, who was the No. 7 overall draft back this year, has had a lackluster start to his NFL career but Holmes told reporters on Thursday that it’s nothing more than what any rookie would go through in their first season.

“I believe that he will be ready for Week 1 and I think he’s ready now,” Holmes said. “Yeah, I mean, he’s going through the normal process that a rookie would go through, regardless of where he’s drafted.”

Holmes also acknowledged the impact that the pandemic had on Sewell’s college career but said his film shows a ton of potential. 

“That’s a tough position to play out there on that island and he’s sat out for a year. So what he’s done, and I know it’s magnified by what may be a hiccup here or there, but there’s so much of the good stuff that maybe kind of hidden when you really kind of deep dive the film, little subtle nuances that (are) going to make a big difference.”

Sewell, 20, played left tackle while at the University of Oregon. After missing his freshman year due to an ankle injury, he returned the following season to win the Morris Trophy and the Outland Trophy. He sat out 2020 season because of the pandemic and missed rookie minicamp after testing positive for COVID-19. 

The transition to right tackle has proved to be a difficult one for Sewell in the preseason. He allowed one sack, two hurries and four pressures in 60 snaps, 17 of them in the final preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts when most starters sat out, according to PFF.

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