49ers' Nick Bosa believes Lions OT Penei Sewell is 'going to be good'
Lions first-round draft pick Penei Sewell spent the offseason transitioning to right tackle, a wobbly experience in which the rookie struggled through the preseason. However, with Taylor Decker going on IR to open the season, Sewell found himself back at left tackle, where he played at Oregon.
The rookie held his own against San Francisco 49ers star edge rusher Nick Bosa in the Lions’ 41-33 loss, looking more comfortable on the left side than he did at right tackle.
“He’s going to be good,” Bosa said of Sewell after the game, via the Lions official team website. “He’s more comfortable on the left, and I could tell from the tape I saw of him on the right. I told him after the game he’s better on the left.”
Sewell got beat a few times by Bosa — who doesn’t? — but played with power and didn’t look lost after getting in just two practices at left tackle before Week 1. Pro Football Focus graded Sewell as their No. 7 overall blocking tackle (ahead of Monday Night Football) for the opening week. He allowed just four hurries and was a road-grader on the ground.
“To me, I have to win every rep,” Sewell said. “I have to get better on a couple things. My hands were out of whack. Pad level came too high on a couple.”
The Lions moved Sewell believing rightfully he was athletically a better matchup against Bosa. Matt Nelson started on the right side.
“We just felt like, athletically, he was the best matchup for him knowing he would get a dose of him, and he is,” coach Dan Campbell said. “He’s powerful, he’s big, he’s explosive, I’m talking about Sewell, and he’s played some left tackle in college. I mean, that’s what he had done and I know he embraced it. Like, he was really excited to go back to left. So it just felt like the right move and from that standpoint, we felt like he performed pretty well.”
The Lions plan to move Sewell back to right tackle when Decker returns from IR. Until then, the rookie will continue to man Jared Goff’s blindside.
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