Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
“I couldn’t be fonder of you if you were my own son. But, well, if you lose a son, it’s possible to get another. There’s only one Maltese Falcon.” - Kasper Gutman aka The Fat Man.
There is only one Maltese Falcon and there is only future first-round Atlanta Falcon - Penei Sewell. At 6’6’’, 330 pounds, aggressive, and athletic, Penei is our Maltese Falcon. Sometimes the hardest part of being a general manager is not overthinking and trying to act like the smartest guy in the room. There is little to no dispute that Sewell is the best offensive line prospect in this draft. (Daniel Jeremiah, get lost with your clickbait stories.) He has the potential to be a long-term elite tackle in the league. Simply too much value in this pick to pass it up. Had trades been possible, we would have considered a move down, but frankly, I think Sewell is the 2nd best prospect in the draft (after Lawrence) and won’t last past 5.
Get ready for a new dirty bird:
We, the Atlanta Falcons, have a new coach in Arthur Smith, having come over from Tennessee. The expectation is a run-heavy offense that will attempt to duplicate some of Derrick Henry’s success. As Coach Smith readily admits, “We’re not going to have Derrick Henry in here.” So, “The reality is that we’ll get multiple backs in here, and we’ll have the way we trust our schemes and the way we teach the details of it, and we’ll commit to it.” If we’re not going to have a stud running back, and there was certainly no RB worth looking at with the 4th pick, then the team is going to have to scheme up some great plays and have incredible blocking. For this reason, the Falcons cannot have enough skill or depth along the offensive line.
The reality is that the Falcons have a deeper need at G than they do T. For this reason, we gave some consideration to Rashawn Slater due to his positional diversity, but he is much lower on my board and predicted to go somewhere around 10. The first round is simply our best chance to get the most talent and so as an organization, we, the Falcons, have decided to focus on BPA. Particularly with a new coach, we are focused on developing talents and are taking a long-term view of the team. I certainly get the attraction of adjusted BPA or drafting for need, but I harbor deep concerns that doing so creates further problems down the line. That is a reinforcing algorithm that forces you to keep chasing positions year after year. We never know who is going to be injured, retired or simply move on from the team. NFL players are not standardized parts that can be swapped out. I simply want the best player. If it means Jake Matthews has to kick down to guard, so be it. After six years, he is what he is. You can simply never have too much o-line depth. Ask the Chiefs. Heck, ask our flying brother the Eagles. Matt Ryan is coming off his third season in a row being sacked more than 40 times – 131 sacks since 2018. The team simply needs more protection.
Now, let’s talk about the prospect. Others have described him as a “generational” talent. Sewell opted out of the past season after an amazing 2019, where he was the Outland Trophy winner as a sophomore. Did I mention that he only gave up 1, that’s right only 1, sack that year. He is huge, fast, and can play in any type of system. Here is a deep dive into his performance. It is a little long (11 mins) but worth the watch:
Sewell is amazingly smooth. In 2019 he was PFF’s highest-graded offensive player in all of college football.
My favorite element of that graphic – WEAKNESS: None.
Here is another great breakdown of Penei. The whole thing is worth a read and the author includes some nice gifs. Bottom line, dude is a beast and has a high ceiling and low bust potential.
Now I know that many anticipate that the Falcons will take a long look at QB in this draft. And we thought about it. With the first 3 picks being QBS, our decision was pretty easy. I have Justin Fields over Mac Jones by a country mile, but I have Sewell way above Fields. I’m not reaching for a QB simply because it is the “sexy” thing to do. We’re going to build this team the right way. From the trenches out. And, if we acquire a QB in the coming years, his bodyguard is already in place. Matty Ice can hold down the fort for the time being. Coach Smith will be asking less of him and having the veteran presence should help a team in transition. With Coach Smith, we will be run first, play-action second, and dropback third. That means that offensive line play is critical. We want to give that system a chance to succeed and Sewell represents the best opportunity to do so.
Mr. Sewell, welcome to Atlanta, where the players play.
Do you approve of this pick?
This poll is closed
2021 BGN Mock Draft Order
1) Jaguars (Phoenix X Minimus): QB Trevor Lawrence
2) Jets (eagles.north.of.the.border): QB Zach Wilson
3) 49ers (I Need a Username): QB Trey Lance
4) Falcons (chewy wellington): OT Penei Sewell
5) Bengals (Dr_Horrible):
6) Dolphins (20Safety_Hazard):
7) Lions (drc242):
8) Panthers (wildcatlh):
9) Broncos (ItownBallers22):
10) Cowboys (Kephas):
11) Giants (Billmington):
12) Eagles (ablesser88):
13) Chargers (Georgia_eagle):
14) Vikings (Philliesandthebees):
15) Patriots (SakPrescott):
16) Cardinals (Carson Wentzs ACL):
17) Raiders (dshelton5):
18) Dolphins (YvngMartial):
19) Football Team (Negadelphia Norm):
20) Bears (Happy24):
21) Colts (CSsdV):
22) Titans (Friendly Neighborhood Philly Fan):
23) Jets (Asap Stocky):
24) Steelers (Gregnado):
25) Jaguars (“Snax”):
26) Browns (gerouxman1956):
27) Ravens (Brendanekstrom):
28) Saints (grantspectations):
29) Packers (Philly_Philly):
30) Bills (doublefry):
31) Chiefs (Leo Bedio):
32) Buccaneers (phuckdallas):
Now it’s time for you to vote for who YOU think should be selected in the 2021 BGN Community Consensus Mock Draft.
Who should the Atlanta Falcons draft at No. 4?
This poll is closed
OT Penei Sewell
QB Trey Lance
QB Mac Jones
TE Kyle Pitts
1) Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence
2) Jets: QB Zach Wilson:
3) 49ers: QB Justin Fields