If you look across the internet you will find hundreds of 2021 NFL Draft rankings with Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell as the top tackle and likely a top five player. Look across the internet at mock drafts and it’s clear he is widely seen as a top five draft selection. Heck, even watch the film of Sewell and it’s clear he is supremely talented, with room to grow exponentially.
Since summer, many have viewed Sewell to be the top option for any team with an offensive line need, as his talent is clear and the potential he brings is sky high. However, did we crown him too early? Sewell was crowned early in the summer and few have wavered from that, even after a full season of play from other impressive tackles.
But Sewell’s biggest competition for the top tackle spot could be someone who also opted out of the 2020 college football season. Northwestern’s offensive tackle Rashawn Slater has generated a ton of buzz as the season continued and many dove into his 2019 film more in depth.
Now, both Sewell and Slater opted out of the 2020 college football season, so recent film is not available for either player, but that hasn’t stopped some of the biggest named analysts from going “against the grain” as listing players other than Sewell as the top tackle prospect.
There is still a long way to go between now and the NFL Draft in late April, but with final evaluations completed on both Sewell and Slater, I can say that Slater just edges out Sewell as OT1 for me in the 2021 NFL Draft.