There is always a special relationship that develops between a left tackle and a quarterback. The left tackle is there to protect the blind side of the franchise quarterback. It takes time to develop said relationship, but what if there is already one developed?
Oregon left tackle Penei Sewell had his pro day last week. He weighed in at 331 pounds but ran his 40-time at 5.09, which is pretty fast. Some scouts care about the numbers. Others don't.
On Monday afternoon, he answered questions from the media, but a specific question brought a smile to his face. He sat out the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the last time he played in a game, Justin Herbert was his starting quarterback.
So, for Penei, what would it mean for Herbert to be his NFL quarterback?
"To block for Herb again, man," said Sewell. "I think it's another dream and another, I guess a vision that would be fun, just like you said I blocked for Herb throughout this whole time I've been here in Oregon, and to have that chance, again to share the same field as him would be a dream come true."
The Chargers are selecting at number 13. In some expert's opinions, Sewell may be long gone. In others, he could be drafted near there.
Has he spoken to the Bolts?
"I've been talking to the Chargers…conversations have been made," said Sewell.
The way he said that was interesting because he had another smile on his face. Could it be that the Chargers have shown a lot of interest, but he doesn't want to say? Or is it that his relationship with Herbert is that strong, and he really wants to play with him?
Probably a little bit of both.
The former Duck quarterback mentioned something very interesting a couple of months ago about his former left tackle.
"We had dinner a couple of months ago, and, and Penei's a great guy," said Herbert after winning the rookie of the year award. "He's about as special as it gets, and I'm always here for him. I know that if he has any questions, I'd love to help him out. He's a special player, and I know whoever gets him is going to be very lucky to have him."
Maybe Herbert could be the lucky person to have him. He is coming off a 36-touchdown season in which he played behind a below-average offensive line. Chargers brass spent most of free agency trying to fix the offensive line.
They signed the best center on the market in Corey Linsley, signed guard Matt Feiler, and got Oday Aboushi. The offensive line has been a necessity.
Now, Sewell did sit out this season, but for him, it was a time to analyze and get better.
"I've learned so many different types of little techniques that come along with this game, too," explained Sewell. "So, I've gotten with the NFL people, players that played before or coaches that coaches coach in the league for a long time. So again, with them and kind of soaking up the knowledge that they have for me. It was just something that I really benefited from this time off."
Right now is the strange time of the NFL Draft process. There is a lot of noise coming out about certain players. Some draft experts think Sewell is the slam dunk franchise-changing left tackle. While others believe Northwestern's Rashawn Slater is the best tackle in the draft.
"That's their own opinion," said Sewell. "But for me, man, again, just go put on the tape, everybody just go ahead and watch what I do, and it's nobody can do what I do in this draft in the offensive tackle rooms. So, bring something totally different to the table."
It will be interesting to see if Sewell is close to the Chargers when they make their first-round selection, but two things were evident on Monday.
One is Herbert, and Sewell would love to play together. Two is their relationship is so strong the Chargers should think about doing whatever it takes to make sure Sewell is blocking for their franchise quarterback for years to come.
"That's my brother, the relationship that we created here when I became an Oregon Duck is second to none," said Sewell. "Again, that's the relationship that I'll carry out during my whole life and to the grave."