Oregon linebacker and Orem High School alum Noah Sewell became the second member of his immediate family to be drafted when he was selected by the Chicago Bears during the fifth round (No. 148 overall pick) of the 2023 NFL draft on Saturday.

Sewell’s brother, Penei, who also played for Oregon, was selected seventh overall by the Detroit Lions in the 2021 NFL draft. Another brother, Nephi, went undrafted last year, but found a home with the New Orleans Saints.

Noah Sewell spent the past three years honing his skills as an inside linebacker at Oregon. He led the team in tackles during his first two seasons, and, in 2021, became the first-ever Duck to be a semifinalist for the Butkus Award for linebackers.

The 6-foot-1, 246-pound Sewell came to Oregon as one of its highest-ever recruits. He was a five-star prospect coming out of Orem High and considered a top-20 player nationally.

Sewell played both linebacker and running back for Orem. He was named Deseret News’ Mr. Football in 2019.

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What NFL draft experts said about Noah Sewell

“Sewell is the definition of a downhill linebacker. At over 250 pounds, he is the last person any running back wants to see in the hole. The younger brother of Detroit Lions right tackle Penei Sewell, Noah exudes the same raw physicality as his older brother, which is shown in his 86.5 pass-rushing grade over the past two seasons.” — Michael Renner for Pro Football Focus

“Sewell has good power to take on blocks and muddy the middle, but his lack of pursuit speed and change-of-direction quickness prevent him from consistently making the stop. He needs to become more anticipatory and read play development more effectively, as he’s missing the tools necessary to overcome missteps.” — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

“Sewell doesn’t have the tape of a modern-day playmaker with clear limitations in man coverage, but he thumps downhill with the physicality, pedigree and competitive spirit to make plays between the tackles. He projects as a rookie backup who can become a valuable role player — off-the-ball on early downs and rushing off the edge on passing downs.” — Dane Brugler, The Athletic

What experts said about the selection

“Sewell is a thick, old-school framed LB who actually made a fair amount of plays in coverage in college but that’s not his speciality. Gets downhill and when he does, look out. Power galore. Love this as an early-down depth piece behind Edmunds and Edwards.” — Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports.

“Who is ready for a Noah Sewell vs. Penei Sewell collision when the Bears and Lions meet? (Perhaps on a David Montgomery run.) The younger Sewell is a thickly built, two-down linebacker who lacks twitchy athleticism but can bring some thump to his hits.” — Eric Edholm, NFL.com.

Previous Orem High players who made it to the NFL

  • Matt Gay, kicker, Indianapolis Colts (2023), Los Angeles Rams (2020-2022) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2019).
  • Chad Lewis, tight end, Philadelphia Eagles (1997, 1999-2005) and St. Louis Rams (1999).
  • Orrin Olsen, center, Kansas City Chiefs (1976).