Surefire first-round pick Penei Sewell is diversifying his dexterity ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that the Oregon offensive tackle is training at right tackle as well as left tackle, which he played in college.
It's not a stunner that a player of Sewell's caliber would expand his preparation. While offensive linemen are often discussed as interchangeable pieces, able to move anywhere along the line, it takes different footwork and skills to shift positions. Even opposite tackle spots can take practice to pick up.
It's wise for Sewell to prep for all eventualities of his pro career and get ahead of any position switch that might come.
While left tackle is the primo spot for players to get paid, we've seen the likes of Lane Johnson get drafted high and stick as a premier right tackle. With defensive edge rushers moving around, teams need stalwart blockers on both sides of the line.
Then there is the reality that Sewell could get selected by a team that already has an established left tackle.
The Bengals at No. 5 have Jonah Williams, a former first-rounder, who they've spoken positively as their future on the left side. Riley Reiff was signed to play the right side, but if Sewell is the pick by the Bengals, one could kick inside.
If Sewell slipped to No. 7 overall, the Lions already have Taylor Decker, who signed a long-term deal, on the left side. Likewise, at No. 9, Denver likely would prefer Garett Bolles to continue on the left side if Sewell happened to slip that far.
Then there is the case of Miami at No. 6. With Tua Tagovailoa being a lefty, the right side is his blindside. If the Dolphins decided to further invest in the O-line despite recent high draft picks at the tackle spots, they could ask a player like Sewell to switch sides in order to secure their lefty's backside.
The point of this exercise is that until the draft passes and we know where these rookies land, there are a plethora of potential paths their careers can take. Practicing multiple spots is simply smart preparation by Sewell and his team ahead of the April 29 draft.