The Detroit Lions selected Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell with the No. 7 overall pick in the NFL draft Thursday night.
Sewell will likely start at right tackle to potentially make Detroit’s offensive line a strength with left tackle Taylor Decker and Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow. The 6-foot-5, 331-pound Sewell did not play last season after starting his first two years at Oregon, opting out of last year’s delayed Pac-12 season.
Lions general manager Brad Holmes is leading a front office for the first time, taking on the tall task of turning around a franchise that has struggled for decades. He was in charge of the Los Angeles Rams‘ college scouting department the past eight years.
Holmes went into the draft with six picks, including an extra third-round selection acquired from the Rams in a blockbuster trade for Matthew Stafford that also gave Detroit quarterback Jared Goff, along with first-round picks in each of the next two years.
On Friday night and Saturday, the Lions will likely look to address some of their many needs such as wide receiver, defensive line, linebacker and defensive back.
Detroit seems to be set at just a few positions, including running back, tight end and center.
It signed Green Bay running back Jamaal Williams to join a backfield with D’Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson. Drafting tight end T.J. Hockenson two years ago at No. 8 overall has proved to be a good move as was taking Ragnow with the No. 20 pick overall in 2018.
Detroit did not go into the week with a sixth- or a seventh-round pick because former general manager Bob Quinn gave up the selections as part of trades to acquire defensive end Everson Griffen from Dallas and send safety Quandre Diggs to Seattle.
The Lions fired Quinn and coach Matt Patricia in November and closed the season with double digits in losses for a third straight season. To replace Patricia, they hired New Orleans tight ends and assistant head coach Dan Campbell.
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