Penei Sewell
refer to caption
Sewell with the Lions in 2022
No. 58 – Detroit Lions
Position:Offensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (2000-10-09) October 9, 2000 (age 23)
Malaeimi, American Samoa
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:335 lb (152 kg)
Career information
High school:Desert Hills (St. George, Utah)
College:Oregon (2018–2020)
NFL draft:2021 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2023
Games played:50
Games started:50
Player stats at · PFR

Penei Sewell (/pɛnˈn/ pen-NAY;[1] born October 9, 2000) is an American football offensive tackle for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Oregon, where he won the Outland and Morris trophies in 2019.

Sewell opted out of his junior season in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic before being drafted seventh overall by the Lions in the 2021 NFL Draft. A native of American Samoa, he and his family moved to Utah in 2012. He is the older brother of NFL player Noah Sewell.

Early years

Sewell was born on October 9, 2000, in Malaeimi, a village in American Samoa near the capital of Pago Pago.[2] As a child, he began playing American football alongside his three brothers after his father Gabriel became a coach of the sport.[3] Seeing the potential for his children to make it to the National Football League (NFL), Gabriel moved his family to St. George, Utah in 2012.[3][4][5] There, Sewell attended and played football at Desert Hills High School.[3] As a senior in 2018, he played in the US Army All-American and Polynesian Bowls before committing to the University of Oregon to play college football for the Oregon Ducks.[6][7][8]

College career

Sewell became an immediate starter during his freshman year for the Ducks in 2018, starting seven games but missing six due to a high ankle sprain.[9][10] He returned in 2019 and won the Morris Trophy and Outland Trophy.[11][12] In addition, he and former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa were selected as co-recipients of the 2019 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year award.[13] Sewell opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.[14]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 4+78 in
(1.95 m)
331 lb
(150 kg)
33+14 in
(0.84 m)
10+38 in
(0.26 m)
5.09 s 1.79 s 2.97 s 4.68 s 7.76 s 28.0 in
(0.71 m)
9 ft 1 in
(2.77 m)
30 reps
All values from Pro Day[15][16]

Regarded as one of the best overall prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft, Sewell was selected seventh overall by the Detroit Lions.[17] He tested positive for COVID-19 in May 2021 and had to sit out of minicamp. He signed his four-year rookie contract, worth $24.1 million, the same month.[18] As a rookie, he appeared and started in 16 games, only being inactive for the regular season finale.[19] He was named to the 2021 Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie Team.[20]

In Week 14 of the 2022 season, Sewell had a nine-yard reception late in the fourth quarter to give the Lions a crucial first down in the 34–23 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.[21] In the 2022 season, he started all 17 games and was named a Pro Bowl alternate.[22][23] In 2023, Sewell was selected to his second Pro Bowl and first First-team All-Pro, and played in the NFC Championship with the Lions, where they lost 34–31.

Personal life

Sewell has three brothers: Gabriel, Nephi, and Noah.[24] [25]Gabriel is a linebacker for the Philadelphia Stars in the USFL, Nephi is a linebacker for the New Orleans Saints, and Noah is a linebacker for the Chicago Bears.[26][27] The brothers are nephews of former NFL players Isaac Sopoaga and Richard Brown.[28]


  1. ^ "2022 Detroit Lions Media Guide" (PDF). National Football League. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  2. ^ Vondersmith, Jason (December 31, 2019). "Sewell's star shines brightly". Portland Tribune. Pamplin Media Group. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Hummer, Chris (April 29, 2021). "Oregon's star tackle Penei Sewell was raised to do this". Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  4. ^ Monson, Gordon (July 15, 2016). "Monson: Desert Hills' Penei Sewell a man-child chased by Utah, BYU, USU and many, many others (with video)". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  5. ^ Falk, Aaron (July 21, 2017). "Desert Hills star Penei Sewell has a big decision to make about his next football family". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  6. ^ Smith, Cam (November 13, 2017). "Four-star Utah OT Penei Sewell gets emotional when receiving U.S. Army All-American jersey while out injured". USA TODAY High School Sports. Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  7. ^ "2018 Game Highlights". Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  8. ^ Nemec, Andrew (February 8, 2018). "Oregon Ducks land Penei Sewell, the nation's No. 2 OG". OregonLive. Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  9. ^ Alger, Tyson (October 11, 2018). "Just a freshman, Penei Sewell already is a big man on campus...". The Athletic. Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  10. ^ Mims, Steve (December 20, 2018). "Penei Sewell works to resume his spot at left tackle in Redbox Bowl for Oregon Ducks football". Duck Sports. Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  11. ^ Allen, Trevor (December 7, 2019). "Bradlee Anae, Penei Sewell Receive Morris Trophy". KSL Sports. Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  12. ^ Crepea, James (December 13, 2019). "Oregon Ducks OL Penei Sewell wins Outland Trophy". OregonLive. Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  13. ^ Huffman, Brandon (December 17, 2019). "Sewell, Tagovailoa Share Polynesian CFB Player of the Year Award". 247Sports. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  14. ^ Goodbread, Chase (September 7, 2020). "Oregon's Penei Sewell opts out of college season, intends to enter 2021 NFL Draft". Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  15. ^ "Penei Sewell, Oregon, OT, 2021 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  16. ^ "Penei Sewell 2021 NFL Draft Profile". Retrieved April 16, 2023.
  17. ^ Rogers, Justin (April 29, 2021). "'A cornerstone player': Lions fortify O-line, select Oregon's Penei Sewell with No. 7 pick". The Detroit News. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  18. ^ Patra, Kevin (May 19, 2021). "Lions, Penei Sewell agree to terms on four-year, $24.1 million rookie contract". Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  19. ^ "Penei Sewell 2021 Game Log". Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  20. ^ "2021 NFL All-Rookie Team". Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  21. ^ "Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions - December 11th, 2022". Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  22. ^ Meinke, Kyle (December 22, 2022). "Detroit Lions surprised by Pro Bowl snub for Penei Sewell, Taylor Decker". Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  23. ^ "Penei Sewell 2022 Game Log". Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  24. ^ Tidwell, Sarah (February 28, 2023). "Is Noah Sewell related to Penei Sewell? Former Oregon stars share more than just an alma mater". Sporting News. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  25. ^ "Oregon's Sewell, Utah's Barton carry on family legacies". USA TODAY. Associated Press. August 30, 2022. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  26. ^ Nemec, Andrew (November 23, 2019). "Noah Sewell, 5-star linebacker, commits to Oregon Ducks". OregonLive. The Oregonian. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  27. ^ Ireland, Kyle (April 30, 2022). "Utah LB Nephi Sewell Signs Undrafted Free Agent Deal With New Orleans Saints". KSL Sports. Retrieved May 5, 2022.
  28. ^ Davenport, Richard (July 3, 2017). "Hogs hoping for return visit from offensive lineman Penei Sewell". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Retrieved February 26, 2023.