The Pac-12 is set to feature two offensive tackles that will have plenty of eyes on them during the 2020 season in preparations for the 2021 NFL Draft: Oregon’s Penei Sewell and Stanford’s Walker Little. Let’s dive in on the two prospects and see how the two currently stack up to each other.
Sewell has only played at Oregon for two seasons but has already turned into one of the premier left tackles in the country. He is already seen by some in the draft media as the number one offensive tackle for the 2021 NFL Draft.
In only his sophomore year, Sewell (6’6″, 330 pounds) put together a tremendous season. His power is unmatched by many. Once he gets his hands inside against you, you have almost no chance against him. And when it comes to the passing game, defensive linemen barely get to the quarterback against him. In fact, he has only allowed one sack through two seasons on 1,376 offensive snaps, making quarterback Justin Herbert very happy over the last two seasons.
For his efforts, he was awarded the Outland Trophy in 2019, becoming the first offensive lineman to win the award since Cam Robinson in 2016. He was also named the Associated Press’ Co-Offensive Player of the Year with Utah RB Zack Moss and Utah QB Tyler Huntley.
Sewell is already being viewed not just as the top offensive tackle for next year, but some are already mocking Sewell within the top five overall of next year’s draft. As long as Sewell stays the course, teams will be drooling to draft him high.
Little was on his way to becoming a premier offensive tackle as well, but will now be coming off of a season in which he only played in one game due to an injury.
However, 2018 showed that Little has plenty of potential at the next level. He started every game at left tackle that season, helped QB K.J. Costello throw for the second-most passing yards in a season for Stanford and was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team.
Little is listed at 6’7″ and 309 pounds and showed plenty of strength in 2018 and in the season-opener against Northwestern in 2019. However, Little suffered a knee injury in that Northwestern game and ultimately missed the rest of the season.
Little was viewed as one of the top offensive tackle prospects for the 2020 draft and was likely going to go in the first round of the draft. The knee injury obviously changed everything. Little decided to return to Stanford for his senior season to rehab his draft value.
Little obviously figured he wasn’t going in the first round because of the injury. Coming back to Stanford allows him another year at left tackle and another year to show NFL teams the strength he has and his ability to play the position at the next level.
He’ll likely get some extra exposure as you have to imagine the folks down in Mobile, Alabama will have their eye on Little for the 2021 Senior Bowl.
As things stand now, Little is certainly behind Sewell and probably also behind Samuel Cosmi of Texas, and maybe even Alex Leatherwood of Alabama. That’s partly due to the injury, but if Little shows he is fully recovered from his knee injury, you’re looking at four really good offensive tackle prospects for 2021.