On Sunday, the 3-8-1 Cincinnati Bengals will square off against the 3-9 Dallas Cowboys. This game is considered the “Penei Sewell Bowl” simply because the loser will be in position to draft him third overall. The loser of this game would currently hold the third pick in the 2021 NFL draft while the winner could fall all the way down to sixth.
Penei Sewell, the left tackle for the Oregon Ducks, is considered to be one of the best premier blockers coming out of the draft in recent years. Although he opted out of the 2020 season, Sewell’s potential still puts him as a top player in the draft.
Who exactly is Penei Sewell and is he really that good?
Sewell is a 6-foot-6, 325-pound offensive tackle for the Oregon Ducks. He was a four-star recruit coming out of high school who had offers from Oregon, Alabama, USC, Nevada and Utah. He ultimately chose Oregon where he would protect Justin Hebert.
Sewell has been every bit of fantastic for the Ducks in his two seasons. In two seasons, he has only allowed one sack over 1,376 snaps. Last season as a sophomore, Sewell gave up zero sacks on 926 snaps. Additionally, Sewell’s run blocking skills put him at an even greater advantage. According to PFF, he finished 2019 with a run-blocking grade of 95.3. Sewell has the speed and size to get to the outside and block for his teammates.
Sewell finished the 2019 season as the nation’s top offensive lineman. As a result, he would go on to win the Outland Trophy for the best interior player of the season. Sewell also finished with the best PFF grade for an offensive lineman in history.
He has the tools and size to be one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL. As a result, whatever team he winds up with gets an automatic boost to their offensive line. He is the best non-quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Bengals or Cowboys?
Barring any unexpected win streaks, the Jets and Jaguars will own the top two picks in this upcoming draft. Those two teams are fully expected to take Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields with their picks. That leaves Sewell as the next best player.
Even though four weeks remain in the season, the loser of this game could very well wind up with Sewell. Sewell would be a solid fit for both the Bengals and the Cowboys. Both teams have had struggles at the offensive line position this season.
The Bengals could desperately use Sewell since they have one of the worst offensive lines in the league. This season, they rank 31st in the NFL in sacks given up per game (3.7). Joe Burrow has the weapons around him to excel in the NFL but needs time in the pocket. In his rookie season, Burrow had very little time to throw, so drafting a guy like Sewell can really help the Bengals in the future.
As for the Cowboys, drafting Sewell can also be beneficial. The amount of injuries to the Cowboys offensive line this season has decimated them. Next season, the Cowboys should get back Zack Martin, Tyron Smith and La’el Collins to full health as well as their star quarterback, Dak Prescott. Adding a player like Sewell to that offensive line can result in the Cowboys becoming a top-five offensive line like they were a couple of years ago.
Neither the Bengals nor the Cowboys will purposely try to lose this game, but the loser could benefit because they will be in a position to draft the best blocker in the draft, Penei Sewell.
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