NFL exec: Lions drafting Penei Sewell ‘a no-brainer’ and ‘huge win’

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The Detroit Lions have received high marks for the 2021 NFL draft class headlined by Penei Sewell. Fans, media and draft pundits have all graded GM Brad Holmes and his first draft class highly. And it seems fellow NFL personnel people agree, too.

Mike Sando of The Athletic polled several anonymous NFL personnel and front office figures about their impressions on each team’s draft class. The unnamed exec absolutely loved the Lions selection of Sewell, and also gives a hat tip to the Bengals for taking Ja’Marr Chase instead of the Oregon OT.

“Cincy did them a huge favor taking the receiver at 5 instead of the tackle,” an exec said. “Detroit didn’t even have to make a decision. It was such a no-brainer, you can’t even come back later and say they should have taken a quarterback. The personnel guys are off the hook, the head coach gets a guy who can bite kneecaps, all that s***. It played right into the persona they want to have, and they got a player they probably shouldn’t have gotten, so it was a huge win for them.”

As for the possibility of taking a quarterback, as mentioned above? That’s for next year, when Detroit has two first-round picks thanks to the Jared Goff/Matthew Stafford trade with the Los Angeles Rams.

“You have the tackles in place now if you need to switch to a rookie quarterback next year,” an exec told Sando.

Holmes admitted the Lions didn’t really consider any other options at No. 7 once they went on the clock with Sewell still on the board. That decision continues to receive praise.