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Must-See Battle Starts Monday at Detroit Lions Training Camp

Read more why this battle at Detroit Lions training camp should improve both players on the roster.

Early on in training camp, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell has highlighted the looming head-to-head matchup between outside linebacker Romeo Okwara and rookie offensive lineman Penei Sewell. 

Sewell, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, will continue his development playing at right tackle, which requires adjusting his football footwork and technique. Remember, he played left tackle at Oregon, and did not play at all last season.

With the Lions throwing him into the fire quickly, we will soon have plenty of reps over the coming weeks to examine his level of progression during his rookie season. 

"The best thing for him is going to be Romeo Okwara. That is the absolute best," Campbell explained on Friday at his pre-practice media session. "That actually gives me hope, because I know Romeo is going to give him a full day’s work every day, walkthrough to the finish of practice, start to end. He’s going to get somebody that’s got length and a motor. He’s crafty, knows how to use his skills. He’s going to force this guy to get better fast. He’s going to have to. That is encouraging.”

Okwara enters his sixth NFL season, coming off a career-best season last year.

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The 6-foot-4, 263-pound defensive end played in all 16 games a season ago, and recorded a career-high 44 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 18 QB hits and 10 sacks. 

The 26-year-old earned a three-year, $37 million contract extension to stay in Detroit during the team's latest rebuild. 

Okwara's extension included a signing bonus of $14 million.