Penei Sewell was the first offensive lineman taken in the 2021 draft by the Lions with the seventh overall pick. He was one of the most highly touted lineman prospects to enter the draft in a long time, as he drew pre-draft comparisons to legends like Orlando Pace and Trent Williams. Although he is a rookie who missed his final year in college due to Covid-19, expectations were super high, and many people were critical because of his slow start in the preseason. However, once the lights came on, he came to play because he played well in their week one loss to the 49ers and played well again last night in his first NFL primetime game on the Monday Night Football stage. Today's Tuesday Film Room will examine some of his plays in pass pro vs the Packers.
After just two games, it is not hard to see why Sewell had so much hype coming into the draft. But he is still a rookie, and there are things he can get better at. This first play is not a big deal because Goff finds an open man and gets rid of the ball so quickly, but Sewell was overpowered and knocked back on this play. It is pretty clear before Preston Smith makes contact with Sewell that this will be a bull rush, so I would like to see him in a better position to take it on, and that is something he can get better at with more experience.
The second play is Jared Goff's first TD pass of the game, and Sewell does a great job in pass pro on this one. Smith attempts to attack him with another bull rush, and this time Sewell is ready. He does a better job of taking it on and bringing the fight to Smith instead of retreating.
This next play will not be remembered, as it was just an inconsequential dump-off pass to the RB for a few yards. However, Sewell is very impressive in this play, as he did such a great job hand fighting and mirroring Dean Lowery, number 94, that Vaitai Halapoulivaati could just sit back and watch because he did not need to help.
The next play shows Goff's second TD of the night. Sewell does a good job again on this play as he takes on another bull rush attempt, this time from Jonathan Garvin, number 53, and does a solid job anchoring it and stalling his momentum. He got help at the end, but it was not needed, as Garvin was neutralized before the help arrived.
The next play ended up being an incomplete pass, but Sewell was good on this play. It is always good when offensive linemen can get out of their stance first by timing the snap right and getting the jump on a pass rusher, and that is what Sewell did on the play below. It was a solid rush effort from Smith and had Sewell not gotten the jump, Smith might have even beaten him on this play. But, because he was in such a great position before Smith even got past the line of scrimmage, he was able to better take him on and did a good job at the end of pushing him up the field.
In the last play below, Smith gets the better of Sewell. Sewell does not look bad initially in his pass set, but if he slows his feet at initial contact and does not do a great job of continuing to work Smith up the field, which allows Smith the opportunity to rip through him and get pressure on Goff.
Sewell has some things he still can work on to get better, which is to be expected from a rookie. However, it is clear that Sewell has star tackle potential and will likely be a great pick for the Lions. His physical gifts such as quick feet, active hands, and superior athleticism by offensive lineman standards were all on display Monday night, and his career is off to a good start. So much for those pre-season concerns.
The Ravens have been in the news a lot in the days leading up to their first game due to an unprecedented rash of injuries at the RB position. Their top three RBs on the depth chart at the start of training camp are all injured and out for the season before week one began. Many wonder if the Ravens can overcome this and believe a monster season from Lamar Jackson is the only way they can. However, now that the Ravens have one of the least talented RB groups in the NFL, they will also need great offensive line play this season.
Monday's game was a mixed bag for the Ravens in terms of their run blocking. The play below is the Ravens first play from scrimmage of the night. The Ravens best player Ronnie Staley, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury in 2020, gets blown up and disrupts any chance of this play working.
In this next play, the Ravens do an excellent job upfront to spring a 35-yard touchdown run right up the middle. All five guys did a good job, as a bunch of guys got their defender sealed. It is rare to have long touchdown runs up the middle in the NFL. When it happens, there is a great chance the offensive line did a good job.
Coming into this season, I was worried about the right side of the Ravens offensive line's ability to run block consistently. Both Villanueva and Zeitler were good in pass pro in 2020 but struggled run blocking. This next play highlights them both getting beat and allowing a loss of three yards.
Lamar Jackson is a key element to the Ravens running game, and in the fourth play, we see an example of a big run off of a read-option play. While Jackson's elusiveness allows him to turn a potential one-yard gain into 15, the offensive line also does a great job.
This final play shows another rushing TD by a Ravens RB in which all five Ravens offensive linemen do a good job and get their defenders blocked. Stanley, Ben Powers, and Bradley Bozeman, from center to the left, were all crucial in springing this play.