Anonymous scouts make one last run at sparking a Penei Sewell slide

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Few doubt that Oregon tackle Penei Sewell will be the first tackle taken in the draft. Most believe he won’t make it past the Bengals at No. 5.

That, of course, won’t stop the anonymous scouts from trying to make it happen.

Yes, only a few days remain for the anonymous scouts to do their work. Nameless, faceless fonts of opinion that, in the context of the NFL draft, are skewed by ulterior motives. This doesn’t stop media members from trafficking in these anonymous opinions, even though it gives the audience no way of knowing whether they’re coming from an anonymous scout whose team would love to see one or two or more teams pass on the player, so that the anonymous scout’s team can draft him.

Tonight’s example is Sewell. Bob McGinn, who has given voice to the agendas of anonymous scouts for years, has a collection of quotes from unnamed scouts, one or more of whom possibly aren’t giving a full and fair assessment of Sewell, for strategic reasons.

“I put the tape on expecting to see Jonathan Ogden or Joe Thomas or Walter Jones or Orlando Pace, and I didn’t see it,” an unnamed scout told McGinn. “But he’s going high because there’s nobody else.”

“He’s a good player, not a great player,” another unnamed scout told McGinn. “The guy’s young. He didn’t play this year.”

Said another unnamed scout: “A bit overrated. He is a naturally thick, big-framed tackle. His workout was actually better than he played. I didn’t think he was super explosive. He covered people up with his size, and he would gouge somebody just because he was bigger than them. And name one pass rusher he actually played against in the Pac-12 who’s on a draft board?”

Then came the kicker, at the bottom of the item on Sewell.

“Every time I circle back and watch him, I just don’t see it,” another unnamed scout said. “He’s not that gifted with his feet. He doesn’t really play that physical or strong. He can get in the way, but he’s not a really good finisher, and his balance isn’t that great. His technique is off. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done.”

Anonymously-provided facts fuel journalism. Anonymously-provided opinions always carry risk. In the context of the NFL draft, where the persons providing the anonymous opinions have multiple layers of epidermis in the game, it’s impossible to regard what they say as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

That’s the truth when it comes to any and all anonymous opinions from scouts currently employed by NFL teams. All’s fair in love, war, and the lies told to engineer the board to a given team’s advantage. And if those scouts can find reporters who’ll publish those lies, well, mission accomplished.

36 responses to “Anonymous scouts make one last run at sparking a Penei Sewell slide

  1. And the fact that half of the 1st round draftees are bound to be busts, these scouts have some credibility. Is it a smokescreen? Maybe. Is there truth? Maybe.

  2. I’m not sure the GMs are going to be influenced by something a journalist writes the week before the draft. But then, there’s usually a good reason why these GMs are picking in the top ten. It’s worth a try. You’re hoping the decisions makers don’t watch tape, and can be influenced by what they hear.

  3. “And if those scouts can find reporters who’ll publish those lies, well, mission accomplished.”

    Which is why those who aspire to be decent journalists should expose garbage like McGinn.

  4. I mean this basically amounts to, “the o-linemen aren’t great this year, and he’s the best of the bunch.” Not sure it will result in much of a slide if that was the intent. If anything, Sewell should be thankful because he now has some nameless, faceless doubters who can fuel his desire to become the best version of himself as a player. A lot of the greats love hearing the slights and the doubts, so in the end, maybe reports like these are a blessing in disguise.

  5. “My sources are telling me that he’s not very good at blocking and stuff like that, and that you should definitely not take him in the top 12” – Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers QB

  6. He could be this years DK Metcalf. The media loved him and had him in the top 5, too. We have no idea what the real pros think about any of these guys.

  7. Out over his skis a lot more than you want for an OT1. I think he’s a good tackle, potential All Pro guard. This year’s group of tackles can’t touch last year’s group. A few of the top-rated-by-media-scout guys are going to end up inside.

  8. You also need to remember that he was only 19 years old in the most recent game film. He’s even more of a projection than most of this draft class.

  9. ” I studied his tape. His arms are only a foot long and he has no feet. I don’t know what anyone sees in him.”

  10. Your premise is ridiculous. Teams are not checking newspaper articles for scouting reports.

    And you would think all media types would support honest and open commentary, both GOOD AND BAD stuff. I don’t want to hear just the rosy, everything-is-awesome hype, but all the warts too.

  11. On draft day all of the talking heads will be giving High Grades to the GMs that pick the players they said they should pick. If someone would have picked Tom Brady with the first overall pick in 2000 instead of Courtney Brown would that have been a good pick ? All of the draft experts would have blown a circuit. How many experts said the Bills picked the “wrong Josh ” when they took Josh Allen instead of Josh Rosen ? There will be Pro Bowlers and Busts in the First Round of the draft again this year. There is all kinds of information on all of the players, some good, some not. Are the annonymous scouts correct about Penei Sewell ?
    Check back in a few years.

  12. Funny they bring up Orlando Pace. The tape I’ve seen of this guy , he looks like Orlando Jr. Pancakes galore. What highlights they lookin at?

  13. ..and Robert Gallery was a generational cant miss franchise cornerstone Left Tackle

  14. No one has access to any of the 32 teams draft boards. So when you hear a player is sliding it is only journalists or the public opinion. In other words… MEANINGLESS!

  15. I could easily see the Bengals taking Chase. He’d sell way more of those new jerseys, and the fact that he’ll rock a single digit number is going to make them sell even more. Plus the Bengals have always valued having a big name WR. Not saying it’s the correct choice, but…Bengals. Hopefully they make the right call here.

  16. Shouldn’t teams be listening to their in house scouts about prospects rather than anonymous sources on articles?

  17. Back in the day you might see a guy do one mock prior to the actual draft. Now some writers do a new one every few days. You can’t keep writing the same thing, so they have to come up with something different. Turns out the hotter the take, the more clicks it gets. Feel free to ignore as Sewell won’t get past the sixth pick.

  18. He’ll underwhelm the team who takes him. He’ll be a so-so starter who flashes every now and then.

  19. Linemen are one of the few positions not as impacted by quality of team around them. They can still shine and get paid even if on a lousy team. So maybe not as much incentive from their point of view to slide to a better team as for, say, an offensive skill player. As for the team point of view, everyone in the league can use a good OL.

  20. If I was looking for a team that wants to benefit if Penei Sewell dropping to them, I’d say the Chargers. I still believe the Bengals will still draft Sewell.

  21. Scouts’ comments sound legit to me. They’re paid to come up with “cons” on every player and this guy Sewell is not without shis share. References to the lack of size and quality competition out on the Coast are quite interesting if it’s my money we’re spending. If anyone can refute those remarks, have at it. Who has this guy blocked? Who has he dominated? The risks are there and if you taking him at 4 or 5 you’re taking a serious chance.

  22. This guy gave up 1 sack in two years. He’s 19, still getting bigger and faster, and he is clearly the best tackle in college football. The Bengals will draft him in the 5 selection and he’ll be be the league for 15 years.

  23. The actual numbers as far as 1st round busts never truly gets reported…. Truth is there are very few really good talent evalauators who can actually tell you who’s game will translate to the next level and who’s won’t. And for certain, those few people are under paid.

  24. Lol hes not one of the 4 best OTs of all time so ya know, i wouldnt take him… lol. Its the definitely the funny season.

  25. Anyone who expects teams to do what their scouts say should read the recent article about how dysfunctional the Eagles’ front office is. Last year the scouts were surprised by all the draft picks.

  26. Flashed all over NFL network, Daniel Jeremiah’s ‘top 5 tackles list’ has Slater over Sewell. Nothing is a sure bet.

  27. He’s sliding past 5 and even 6. The scout doesn’t need to do anything to help that. I don’t know why people can’t understand that the Bengals are taking Chase and why they are doing it.

  28. mikefloreo says: I don’t know why people can’t understand that the Bengals are taking Chase and why they are doing it.
    So why are they taking Chase? If Chase has a career like AJ Green, any team would be happy to have him. AJ Green was a generational talent, they won nothing with him and he did nothing at all when the OLine got ripped apart. Don’t tell me there’s a lot of talented lineman in the draft so wait for round 2. There are, but there’s also many mocks that have anywhere from 7-10 OL off the board by the time the Bengals pick in round 2. So the answer to Joe Burrow’s devastating injury is to get the 8th-10th best offensive lineman to protect him? And don’t tell me they already have 2 good tackles. Jonah Williams is unproven, Reilly Reiff is on a 1 year deal and is average at best. This team is one injury away from having to give significant playing time to one of the guys that couldn’t beat out Bobby Hart last year. Let that sink in.

  29. I don’t think it will be between Chase and Sewell at #5 because I think Atlanta will take Chase at #4.

  30. It would be interesting to look back at former anonymous scout quotes and see which ones , if any, were correct or even in the ball Park

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