Any player learning to play a new position in the National Football League will face a steep learning curve.
For first-round pick Penei Sewell, the intricacies of moving over and playing the right tackle position are being learned on a daily basis.
“Enjoy every learning curve, because it’s gonna be battles,” Sewell said last week. “I’m in the league now. I’m here with the big boys, so I just gotta know that everything happens for a reason.”
Early in training camp, Sewell has demonstrated athleticism and footwork that will allow him to grow quickly at becoming a force along the offensive line.
It is important to note that Sewell has not played competitive football in over 12 months, but he has faced his lumps against veterans along the defensive line.
Recommended Lions Articles
NFL Draft Prospects to Watch in Big Ten Championship
Read more on the five 2022 NFL Draft prospects to watch in the 2021 Big Ten Championship Game.
Predictions: Michigan vs. Iowa
The SI All Lions staff provides its predictions for the 2021 Big Ten Championship Game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Michigan Wolverines.
5 Lions Players to Watch against Minnesota Vikings
Read more on the five Detroit Lions players to watch in the team's Week 13 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.
Early on, one area of Sewell's game has been a struggle: pass-protection.
Detroit's defensive linemen and outside linebackers have been able to use crafty inside moves to blow past Sewell.
Austin Bryant, Bruce Hector, Da'Shawn Hand, Romeo Okwara and Jashon Cornell have all battled Sewell, and given him all he can handle the first three weeks of camp.
According to an observation from USA Today's Lions Wire, "Sewell has a tendency to get his weight set to the outside and quicker moves to the inside are beating him. This isn’t the first day Sewell has had this issue, and it’s a reminder that he’s a 20-year-old who hasn’t played football in almost two full years. It shows at times."
While it may take slightly longer than expected for Sewell to acclimate, matching up against the team's top players on defense will speed up his learning curve.
“That actually gives me hope, because I know Romeo is going to give him a full day’s work every day, walk-through to the finish of practice, start to end," Lions head coach Dan Campbell said. "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.”