The Ja’Marr Chase vs. Penei Sewell debate is dead and buried, but the Cincinnati Bengals could reasonably draft another Sewell come the 2023 NFL Draft.
Taking Chase in the 2021 draft ranks as one of the Bengals’ best decisions in recent history, and hopefully Cincy will continue making smart draft choices in the future. One of those choices could revolve around Penei Sewell’s younger brother, Noah Sewell, who plays linebacker for Oregon.
After spending several first-round picks on the offense these last few years, Cincy will probably turn its attention to the defense in 2023 as the team looks to handpick starting-caliber talent with lasting franchise potential.
Is this Sewell too good to pass up this time around?
Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballantine wrote up a way-too-early 2023 mock draft in which the Bengals select Sewell with the 22nd pick:
"The Bengals were questioned for passing on Noah Sewell’s older brother Penei when they took Ja’Marr Chase.This time, the value of taking a Sewell would be too good to pass up. The Samoan was all over the field for the Ducks in 2021, racking up 114 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, five passes defended and an interception. That kind of versatility is what the Bengals need to match up with the offenses they will routinely see in the playoffs."
Cincinnati Bengals upgrade their linebacker unit with Oregon’s Noah Sewell in 2023 mock
Noah Sewell is projected to be one of the best linebacker prospects in his class having put together two solid seasons in Oregon. Sewell was named the Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in a pandemic-shortened season in which he led his team with 45 tackles, and he built upon his production to record 114 tackles in his sophomore year.
As he enters a pivotal third season, Sewell poses as a very reasonable first-round pick for Cincinnati when next year’s draft rolls around.
The Bengals’ linebacker unit feels complete in 2022, but after this upcoming season, several players’ futures hang in the air. Germaine Pratt is set to enter free agency next offseason while Logan Wilson and Akeem Davis-Gaither will become free agents following the 2023 season.
Pratt and Wilson stand out as two of the most crucial players in the interior defense and should get re-signed to long-term extensions; if negotiations fall apart, however, the Bengals need a backup plan, and that could come in the form of 2023 rookie Noah Sewell.
Cincinnati profited once by passing on one Sewell brother years ago, but circumstances will be different in 2023, and Noah Sewell may indeed prove to be a worthwhile draft pick.