Why Chicago Bears likely do not view Noah Sewell as an Edge/DE prospect

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When the Chicago Bears drafted Noah Sewell in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL draft there was a question about how he will fit. The answer is that Ryan Poles stuck to his board of best players available, and that was the next guy on the list. Still, of all the positions for the Bears to take this was the least needed.

Do Chicago Bears view Noah Sewell as an edge prospect?

With Tremaine Edmunds in the middle and TJ Edwards at WILL, Noah Sewell will now be slotted into the SAM, competing with Jack Sanborn. Chicago Bears fans like Jack Sanborn, and do not like the edge rusher depth currently assembled on the team.

This has struck rumors about whether the team actually views Noah Sewell as an edge prospect. While he may line up standing up over a tackle here, and there it is hard to see him actually be a defensive end in the Chicago Bears scheme.

First, he played almost all of his snaps standing up in college, and the Chicago Bears 4-3 base asks for their defenders to put their hands down and rush. Sewell played just 85 snaps on the defensive line last year, per PFF, and most of them did not have his hand down, he was just so close to the line. More than that, while you can argue that Sewell is an oversized linebacker, he is still undersized for the edge.

Below you can see how Sewell compares to 3-4 outside linebackers, which are pass rushers who play standing up.

He is nearly too small height-wise, but his arm length is in the 0 percentile. There are no edge rushers in the NFL with his arm length. We saw with Peter Skoronski that arm length matters at tackle, and that is because arm length matters on the defensive side of the ball as well. Whoever strikes first wins, and Sewell will consistently be later to strike, especially against tackles with long arms.

When you compare him to actual edge defenders who put their hand in the ground and rush, he is even smaller.

Aside from all-edge rushers, let's compare him to the Chicago Bears. Noah Sewell has a 31.5" arm length, and weighs 246 pounds. Dominique Robinson, Trevis Gipson, and DeMarcus Walker are all 33" arm length or longer. Rasheem Green is 32.5", and he also weighs 275 pounds, so nearly 30 pounds more than Sewell.

Walker weighs 280, Gipson weighs 261, and while Robinson weighs 253 when he was drafted he said he is up closer to 270 pounds now. Even in the case of Robinson, he has a similar weight, but about two-inch longer arms, and also he played with his hand down as a rusher in college.

Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus talked all weekend about how they wanted to get bigger everywhere. They drafted a huge right tackle, two defensive linemen, and even the two cornerbacks they drafted have great size for the spot.

They drafted Noah Sewell, who would be big for a linebacker and would be an outlier for how small he is on the edge. It is pretty clear here that they do not want Peter Skoronski at tackle, the same way they do not want Noah Sewell on the edge. They like that he is so big for a linebacker.

So, yes, you may see him standing up off the tackle sometimes, but that is the SAM role. The SAM blitzes and runs downhill more than the MIKE and the WILL and Sewell fit that description.

Next. 5 things we learned about Ryan Poles on draft weekend. dark

The reality is that Jack Sanborn also plays the SAM, and these two will be competing for the same role. If we do see Sewell on the field for defensive snaps, it means that Sanborn is going to average zero defensive snaps per game.