Sewell says switching to RT is a bit of an adjustment, but he loves a challenge

Detroit Lions first-round pick Penei Sewell missed rookie minicamp two weeks ago after testing positive for COVID-19 following NFL Draft weekend.

So Sewell, the No. 7 overall pick in this year's draft, got his first introduction to the NFL this week with the veterans at Lions OTA practices.

"It kind of threw me back to the days when I was a freshman coming into college," Sewell said after Thursday's open OTA practice. "Same thing. Kind of finding my place and getting to know the guys on the football field and in the locker room. Just kind of being a sponge and soaking up everybody, their personalities and all the information around me."

Sewell slots into the right tackle spot and solidifies an offensive line that's expected to be one of Detroit's strengths with talented veterans like left tackle Taylor Decker and Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow in the room.

Sewell said he tried to be in the vets' shadows this week to learn as much as he can about how to best adapt to the NFL. It's been a good week for him to watch how they prepare for practice to how they work through practice.

"Just kind of watching the older guys do what it takes to prepare for practice," Sewell said. "Whether it's getting in the cold tub or hot tub before and kind of looking through the plays before install before we go over it as a team in the O-line room.

"Just kind of pick up the little things they do and try to see if it fits me and my personality and my process to where I can feel comfortable to do those things and go out and perform at the level I want to perform."

Sewell said he's learned a lot and it's been a good first week in the NFL so far.

View photos from the third day of OTAs on Thursday, May 27.

"Look, he looks like a rookie," Lions head coach Dan Campbell said of Sewell before practice Thursday. "He looks athletic. Man, he's got talent, he's hungry, he's aggressive.

"Let's just center back, calm down, watch how everybody does it. Watch the flow, watch your footwork here, take your steps, watch the cadence, listen to these things. Even in three days, you see him improving already. That's all you can ask for right now. It's good to have him here and to be with those guys, it's exactly what you want."

Sewell said the biggest adjustment this week has been moving from left tackle, where he started his two seasons at Oregon in 2018 and 2019, to the right tackle spot, where he's expected to start in Detroit. He compared it to being right handed and being asked to write your name quickly with your left hand.

"It's a whole different feel," Sewell said of making the switch to the right side. "It's a little bit of an adjustment, but again, I love a challenge and it's something I'm looking forward to. It takes me back to my high school days and I'm looking forward to growing in that position."

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