Penei Sewell could be a top target for the Miami Dolphins.
With a generational offensive line talent available to them at number 3, should the Dolphins look to sure up the trenches in 2021 with Penei Sewell?
Miami’s spent a good amount of money and draft capital on offensive linemen in the 2020 offseason. They brought in free agents Ereck Flowers and Ted Karras and drafted solid prospects in Austin Jackson, Robert Hunt and Solomon Kindley.
Per Pro-football-reference.com, Miami gave up 34 sacks over the course of the season, a huge improvement from the 58 that they gave up in 2019. Still, that’s not a great number and part of the offensive struggles were rooted in the line’s inability to produce consistently clean pockets for Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tua Tagovailoa throughout the year.
Offensive line play is key for any quarterback to be successful, whether they are a rookie or an established vet. With that being said, should the Dolphins take Penei Sewell with their first pick in the first round?
Let’s look at who Sewell is as a player, first.
Penei Sewell, Tackle, Oregon
2020 stats: N/A (Opt-Out).
Chances Miami takes him: 40%
Sewell opted out of the 2020 season due to concerns about Covid-19, so the tape everyone has on him is a year old. But, when you put that tape on, Sewell is a player that immediately jumps out at you, and that usually doesn’t happen with offensive linemen.
Throughout his short career at Oregon, Sewell proved to be a pretty dominant blocker in both the running and passing game. He demonstrated top quality footwork and an ability to get to the second level, something Miami desperately needs for next season. For a 300 pound human, he moves well and shouldn’t lose that step with taking a year off from football. The best part about Sewell? He’s only 20 years old, which tells me that the best is still yet to come from this unanimous All-American lineman.
But, does Miami need another lineman at a premium picking spot in 2021? The answer is very complicated.
There is no debating that Miami needs to fill a number of holes throughout the roster during the draft. They desperately need one, or two, receivers, a running back, another linebacker, an edge rusher and, potentially, a safety. Offensive line doesn’t fill those voids.
As I said earlier, the offensive line was good, not great in 2020 and bringing in Sewell would immediately improve the line as a whole. He would become an instant starter and could anchor the line for years to come. Should they go that route, Miami could move Austin Jackson to right tackle, Robert Hunt to guard and keep Flowers and Karras as short term options at their respective positions. That could be a very good group of blockers for Tagovailoa and whatever running back starts on day one. If Flores prioritizes trench play above everything else, Sewell may be their guy.
On the other hand, Miami desperately needs skill position players. At third overall, guys like DeVonta Smith and Ja’Marr Chase are more than likely going to be available and I would find it unlikely that the Dolphins would choose Sewell over one of those two.
It’s also likely that the Dolphins don’t hold on to the third pick, trading back with a team looking for a quarterback or a team feeling more confident about taking Sewell than the Dolphins would be.
As nice as it would be for the Dolphins to take Sewell and find a franchise tackle to go with last year’s franchise quarterback pick, I don’t think it’s likely that Miami forgoes skill positions for the second draft in a row to sure up their young offensive line.