Rashaad Penny – San Diego State
RB 5’11” 220 lbs
If you were hoping to steal Rashaad Penny late in your rookie draft, it appears that the secret is out after the Senior Bowl. Luckily, he seems like a prime candidate to be picked apart in the weeks between the combine and the draft.
Rashaad Penny is another one of the 2018 Class’s prototypically sized backs, seemingly designed to carry an early down workload in the NFL. He has the ability to get to the edge and make plays with his speed, but also has tremendous vision up the middle. When working through an interior crease, Penny is almost slippery, causing defenders to lose track of him. Although his receiving volume was limited to just 19 catches, he is a decent pass catcher. Penny won’t be lining up out wide like James White, but he has the ability to transition from receiver to runner almost instantaneously after a catch. This is particularly important, since Penny is at his best in space; he has the ability to make a cut without ever slowing or breaking stride- this helps with breakaway speed.
The major hurdle preventing Penny from being a three-down back is his pass blocking. It is abysmal. While Penny’s balance is ok when he’s hit above his waist, any contact around his legs will instantly bring him down. This makes him less effective on the inside, where space is limited. Penny’s final flaw is his ball security, often carrying the ball in one arm extended out from his body.
Looking past the eye-popping 2000 yards rushing, Penny is a talented early down back who excels in space. If he can get a handle on his disinterested blocking style, Penny has a chance to grow into a coveted bell-cow.