NFL pundits love Detroit Lions' pick of Penei Sewell; rare OL blue-chipper a 'no-brainer'
When the Detroit Lions finally were on the clock for the No. 7 pick in the NFL draft, they had several choices.
They could have gone quarterback, like Justin Fields.
They could have gone wide receiver, like Devonta Smith.
DAY 2 TARGETS:15 players to consider; plenty of LBs and WRs
FEED THE BEAST:Why Lions and Oregon OT Penei Sewell are a perfect fit
They could have went linebacker, like Micah Parsons.
But nay, the Lions seemed to remain determined to build this team in the trenches and selected Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell.
Around these parts, some people like the pick. Others, not so much.
So, let's take the temperature of the NFL world abroad, scanning the internet for first-round grades on the Lions.
Bleacher Report's Brent Sobleski
Why? A bone-jarring blocker with unlimited upside to play opposite Taylor Decker is the ideal selection. Sewell will immediately become a tone-setter for the rest of the offense. The Lions will build an identity through their offensive front into their backfield since the team still features the league’s worst wide receiver corps.
CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco
Why? They probably thought he wouldn't be here, so they had to be happy he was. Sewell has a ton of talent and will upgrade that line in a big way.
The Athletic's Sheil Kapadia
Why? He’s a fantastic prospect who plays a premium position and has plenty of room to grow. The Lions are in a rebuild, and Sewell offers a terrific building block.
The Ringer's Danny Kelly
Why? For a new front office and coaching regime that has preached toughness and, as head coach Dan Campbell put it, a bite-off-knee-caps mentality, going offensive line with their first pick just makes too much sense. Sewell is my top-ranked tackle and should slot in as a starter from day one.
Sporting News' Vinnie Iyer
Why? Taylor Decker is still at left tackle, but he's getting older and Sewell can start and immediately upgrade right tackle with Halapoulivaati Vaitai moving to guard. He's smooth in pass protection and also a long-term rock for the running game.
Why? This is a no-brainer selection. It could be argued that Sewell was the best player not named Trevor Lawrence in this class. Detroit has a huge hole at tackle, which Sewell will fill very nicely.
Draft Kings' Chet Gresham
Why? When you are rebuilding, you start at the base and Sewell is as sturdy a foundation as you’ll find. They need a wide receiver, but it would have been tough to pass on Sewell.
Yahoo!Sports' Eric Edholm
Why? He won’t turn 21 until a few weeks into the season, and there could be an adjustment to a new position and NFL-caliber speed rushers. But the upside here is tremendous. New GM Brad Holmes is building the infrastructure first. The glitz can come later.
Fox Sports' Rob Rang
Why? With the investment made in new quarterback Jared Goff, the Lions had to protect and they just added the best blocker in the draft. Folks, despite what some have argued, the gap between Sewell and the other linemen in this class is significant. Sewell is one of the true blue chips of this class, and those are exceedingly rare on the offensive line.
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