4 linebacker draft prospects the Panthers should monitor in 2022

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Noah Sewell
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Noah Sewell /
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Carolina Panthers
(Chris Pietsch/The Register Guard via IMAGN Content Services) Noah Sewell /

Carolina Panthers should monitor Noah Sewell

If you have recognized the last name, that’s because this linebacker is the younger brother of Detroit Lions offensive tackle and a former high draft pick, Penei Sewell. The younger Noah Sewell could be next in line to be a highly touted prospect from the family.

Heading into the season, Sewell is expected to be the top playmaker for the Oregon Ducks defense under new defensive-minded head coach Dan Lanning. He is a former five-star recruit who has played as such over the last two seasons in Eugene.

As a Butkus Award semi-finalist for the best linebacker in the country, Sewell certainly played as such. The ferocious hitter tallied 114 tackles, 8.5 tackles-for-loss, and four sacks in 2021, including an interception in the PAC-12 Championship game against Utah.

At an estimated 6-foot-3 250 pounds, Sewell offers impressive lateral mobility skills for his size that allow him to play with a good range from sideline to sideline. His closing speed is very impressive as he can trigger downhill to the ball carrier very quickly and use his frame and length to make punishing tackles around or at the line of scrimmage.

In coverage, Sewell is still growing in this area of his game. Even so, he still shows really good change of direction skills and offers adequate awareness in his drops.

If you’re a wide receiver or tight end running across the middle, be prepared to get blasted by Sewell as he is very physical and an incredibly powerful tackler. Sometimes, though, this aggressiveness can get the best of him, causing him to miss easy tackles.

The Carolina Panthers have lacked physicality along their front seven for the last couple of seasons. Adding Sewell to the mix eight months from now would assist in resolving that issue in the best ways.