Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell announced Monday that he will opt out of the upcoming college season and intends to turn pro, adding one of the nation's elite prospects to the 2021 NFL Draft field.
Sewell revealed his decision via Twitter:
"(Ever) since I was a little, I have dreamt of playing professional football," Sewell stated in the tweet. "Accordingly, after long thought, prayer and many conversations with my family, I have decided to opt out of the 2020-2021 college football season and prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft."
Sewell (6-foot-6, 330 pounds, per school measurements) is a junior this fall. The Pac-12 was among the conferences that postponed the fall season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the league's plan to explore a spring football season still left Sewell with an opt-out choice to make. As a sophomore last year, Sewell became the first Oregon player to win the Outland Trophy as college football's top lineman. He played the left tackle position for UO with stellar pass protection, allowing no sacks over 926 snaps in 2019, and only one sack over 1,376 career snaps.
NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah recently scouted three game tapes of Sewell's from last season -- against Auburn, Stanford and USC -- and found him to be exceptional in both run blocking and pass blocking. Jeremiah compared Sewell to Tennessee Titans tackle Taylor Lewan, a 2014 first-round selection and three-time Pro Bowl selectee, and sees similar potential in Sewell.