Despite struggles, Holmes says Sewell will be ready Week 1: "He's ready now"


If you believe Pro Football Focus, the Lions' worst rookie in the preseason was Penei Sewell. In fact, Pro Football Focus would tell you that Sewell was the Lions' worst offensive player overall in both of their final two games. Your eyes might have told you the same thing.

But if you believe Lions GM Brad Holmes, the seventh overall pick is ready to take on the NFL.

"I believe that he will be ready for Week 1," Holmes said Thursday. "He’s ready now."

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Sewell, for all his power and potential, does not look ready now. He's clearly still adjusting to life at right tackle after playing left tackle throughout college -- and then sitting out last season to prepare for the draft. He allowed a sack to fellow rookie Gregory Rousseau on one of his first snaps of the preseason, and he was frequently exposed last week against three-time Pro Bowl DE Melvin Ingram of the Steelers. Nick Bosa, Dee Ford and the 49ers come to town for the season opener next week.

"He’s going through the normal process that a rookie would go through, regardless of where he’s drafted," said Holmes. "That’s a tough position to play out there on that island, and he sat out for a year. So what he’s done -- I know it's magnified about what’s maybe perceived as a hiccup here or there -- but there’s so much other good stuff that may be hidden when you deep-dive the film. Subtle nuances he’s doing that are going to make a big difference."

And look, Holmes deserves the benefit of the doubt. He sees the details that the elude the average eye. Despite the obvious mistakes, the 20-year-old Sewell -- and his age bears repeating -- may be progressing exactly as the Lions hoped.

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"I think he’s gotten the work he needs to get, both in the preseason games and in practice," said Holmes. "Going against Romeo (Okwara) every day, every day he's getting better. Against Pittsburgh he’s going up against a real guy, and that’s work that he hadn’t experienced before. It’s just going to make him better going forward."

Featured Image Photo Credit: © Junfu Han via Imagn Content Services, LLC