Former Desert Hills High star Penei Sewell expected to go high in NFL Draft

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Sewell opted out of 2020 season at Oregon

EUGENE, Ore. (ABC4 Sports) – Zach Wilson is not going to be the only local high school product taken in the first few picks of the NFL Draft later this month.

Former Desert Hills High offensive lineman Penei Sewell is also going to be selected early, possibly with as high as the fourth overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons, or the fifth pick by the Cincinnati Bengals.

“It would be an honor to go wherever,” Sewell said. “But, if I went that early, it would eliminate a lot of stress and a lot of uncertainty in my mind.”

After two All-American seasons at Oregon, Sewell didn’t think it was worth the risk of injury or getting COVID, and decided to opt out of the 2020 season. But it wasn’t like he was sitting around doing nothing. Sewell was working with former players and coaches getting ready for the draft.

“I’ve learned so many different types of techniques that come along with this game,” Sewell said. “I’ve gotten with NFL people, players that have played before and coaches that have coached in the league for a long time. So with them, I’ve been soaking up the knowledge that they have for me.”

Having not played a game in well over a year has only made Sewell more eager to get back on the field.

“Everyday, day in and day out, knowing that I opted out,” said Sewell, whose younger brother Nephi is a linebacker at the University of Utah. “Sitting out through this time that the next time I have an opportunity to step in between those lines, I’m going to make the most of it.”

Sewell was impressive at his Pro Day at Oregon last week, but if NFL scouts forgot how dominant he was at Oregon, they just need to go look at the film.

“Just go put on the tape,” he said. “Nobody can do what I do in this draft in the offensive tackle rooms. So, I bring something totally different to the table.”

Sewell was a 4-star recruit coming out of Desert Hills High in St. George, but in his two seasons at Oregon, he says he went from being a kid, to a man.

“It’s my mentality,” Sewell said about his growth. “Going from high school to college and from Utah to Oregon, I’ve just kind of flipped the switch of a whole different mentality of locking in. I’m really taking the next step of being a better player and also be a better person off the field.”

At 6-foot-4, 331 pounds, Sewell definitely has the body and technique to be an NFL starter right away.

“I like to play real physical,” he said. “I like to use my body type to my advantage to get up under people’s chins. I’m coming off the ball every play with violent intentions and nothing less is coming from there.”

The NFL Draft begins April 29th on ABC4.

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