Front office insiders Mike Tannenbaum and Joe Banner got together this week to talk about a pair of top 10 NFL draft picks who have not exactly taken the world by storm this summer. As the 2021 season is set to begin, Tannenbaum and Banner broke down what they’ve seen from Detroit Lions first-round pick Penei Sewell, the OT from Oregon, and the Cincinnati Bengals’ top pick, LSU receiver Ja’Marr Chase.
Banner touched on what makes offensive tackles successful -- and what Sewell is lacking.
“I’ve learned the hard way, linemen who play high – to put it in a simple way, they don’t bend their knees easily – if you don’t bend your knees easily, you lose some of your strength and you’re more easily pushed around or moved by a defensive lineman,” said Banner. “You would think they could get this corrected at the NFL level, but the truth is a relatively small percentage do. Maybe he’ll be one of the small percentage. It’s too early to tell, although so far he hasn’t looked great.”
Tannenbaum didn’t disagree with Banner, though he thought there could be another factor at play: Sewell and Chase both opted out last season, so there could be some rust.
“It’s clear that there is definitely going to be a period of them trying to get back to game speed,” Tannenbaum said.
As for Chase, Tannenbaum said he needs more live action.
“While you can work out and be in world-class shape, there’s nothing to replicate game speed,” he said. “For years and years and years, you’d hear skill players talk about that all the time – that until they were in games, it’s hard to simulate that. And I think that’s what we’re seeing with Chase. I’m not going to overreact and panic about how good he’s going to be. I would be somewhat concerned just from a standpoint you just didn’t see those drops at LSU. But I think in two months, this should be a distant memory and I think he’ll go on to have a good career.”
Banner said he expects Chase to be good, even if he doesn’t match the gaudy numbers he put up in 2019 at LSU.
“People have to remember, there are two categories of receivers that make a difference in the NFL. One are guys that have really quick feet and create separation, and give a quarterback a good target and can do so on a consistent basis. That’s not Chase,” said Banner. “The second group are guys that are big and strong and know how to use their bodies to wall off defenders. That’s where he was effective. That and these quick little routes, these quick slants where again he’s using his size and strength to be effective.”
William Davison and Tomas Pedevilla Coloccini edited these videos