When the Detroit Lions drafted Penei Sewell No. 7 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, the franchise ended up selecting one of the more intriguing offensive tackles available that day and one of the more dominating linemen in Pac-12 history.
Penei Sewell’s Background
Sewell is a native of Malaeimi, a village near Pago Pago, America Samoa.
He grew up in a tiny beach community located on the outskirts of the nation’s capital. Approximately 1,000 people live in the village.
And Sewell’s experiences involved living in a shack.
How did Sewell learn how to play the game of football? Per milive.com, his father, Gabriel, got him and his brothers to fill two two-liter bottles with rocks as their footballs.
Ultimately, the Sewell family found a new residence in Utah, where he went on to play for Desert Hills High in St. George. That was where the Oregon Ducks saw an imposing 300-pound lineman destroy defenders with violent intentions.
Sewell emerged as a U.S. Army All-American before he became a revered member of the Ducks.
How Has Sewell Fared in the NFL?
Sewell now has one Pro Bowl appearance on his résumé, which came after the 2022 season.
But right away, he became an impactful rookie under head coach Dan Campbell, earning All-Rookie honors in the 2021 season.
Sewell has even made the switch from right to left tackle as he’s earned the trust of the Lions to man, arguably, the one position on the line where you have to be the most athletic and the most alert.
Furthermore, Sewell has emerged as a team captain in just his third season in the league, and he’s elevated himself to that role on a team mixed with veterans and emerging young talents like Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jahmyr Gibbs.
It all began with two-liter bottles for footballs for Sewell. He’s gone from using that for footballs to using his blocking tenacity to emerge as one of the league’s fast-rising talents at offensive tackle.