The phrase 'violent intentions' is something Oregon offensive line coach Alex Mirabal used to say to his Ducks offensive linemen, and it seemed to resonate with offensive tackle Penei Sewell.
"Once he introduced that phrase it kind of stuck with me," Sewell said in a Zoom call with reporters this week. "Like it never left and it kind of carried out through my whole 2019 season once I heard that. In between those lines I turn that on and I turn on that violent intentions, whether it's pass block (or) run block."
Sewell is considered by most draft analysts to be the best offensive tackle in this class, and when it comes to value at the top of the draft, we usually think of quarterbacks, pass rushers and offensive tackles.
The Lions have the No. 7 pick in the NFL Draft later this month. They also have one starting spot open at right tackle. Taylor Decker is at left tackle, Jonah Jackson at left guard and Pro Bowler Frank Ragnow is at center. Head coach Dan Campbell recently said he'd like to move Halapoulivaati Vaitai from right tackle to right guard (he split time between both spots in 2020), and that would leave an opening at right tackle.
Detroit has a couple good internal candidates to occupy that starting right tackle spot in Tyrell Crosby and Matt Nelson, but getting a guy like Sewell to throw into the mix would solidify Detroit's offensive line for the foreseeable future. It would give them bookend tackles, one of the best centers in the game, and a nice mix of experience and youth at guard.
"I like to play real physical," Sewell said. "I like to use my body type to my advantage and to really get up under peoples' chin and to really showcase my mentality to go along with my physicality, that I'm coming off the ball with violent intentions."
Sewell, who opted out of the 2020 season, measured in at 6-foot-5 and 331 pounds at his pro day and put up 30 reps on the bench press. He was the Outland Trophy Winner and Associated Press Pac-12 Co-Offensive Player of the Year in 2019. He allowed just one sack in 2018 and 2019 combined, which accounts for 1,376 snaps.
Sewell plays with a physicality and an edge that should serve him well at the next level.
"If you line up across me," Sewell said. "I want to let you know it's going to be a long day."