Rashaad Penny, RB
School: San Diego State | Conference: Mountain West
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 5-11 / 220 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 2nd Round or 3rd Round
NFL Comparison: DeMarco Murray
The San Diego State Aztecs have only had three running backs go in the first two rounds of the draft: Marshall Faulk (1994), David Turner (1977), and Don Shy (1967). Rashaad Penny will likely be the fourth. Penny was a 3-star prospect from Norwalk, California who didn't receive an offer from a single power 5 school. That was a miss. Penny led the NCAA in rushing yards this past year and was absolutely prolific nearly every game this past season. Penny even put up a respectable rushing total in 2016 rushing for over 1,000 yards while splitting time with Donnell Pumphrey. In terms of rushing production, Penny will certainly impress those who care about analytics and stats. Penny should also impress those who care about 3-down running backs with NFL ready traits. Penny is a well built back and runs with exceptional balance and strength. Penny also has great athleticism for the next level and is impressive in the way he runs with speed, burst, and power. He didn't get a lot of catches at San Diego State but looks natural and comfortable catching the ball from what I saw and also could offer some value as a kick returner. He represents just another option in the top two rounds of the draft for teams looking for a lead back.
- Excellent size and good athleticism for the position.
- Has enough speed to be able to break a few homers at the next level. Burst through the first level is dangerous.
- Has elusive lateral quickness and can pull off some impressive cuts in close quarters. Patient runner who follows his lead blocker and runs methodically.
- Very strong and balanced runner who has some power to him.
- Able to get even more yardage in space with the use of open field feints and shakes good stiff arm too.
- Exceptional effort on each play has the stamina and durability for volume carries (averaged 22 per game this year).
- Overestimates his speed and elusiveness at times. Will try and bounce runs outside and sometimes go backward instead of getting what he can.
- Awareness and overall effectiveness need to get a lot better in pass protection.
- Usually ran out of the I formation with a very good fullback in Nick Bawden how will he fare without one?
- Speed and acceleration aren't elite - doesn't have that next-next gear could get caught from behind by speedy defenders.
- Must hold onto the ball - has at least 7 fumbles in his career with 3 this season alone.
Let’s see his work:
Just like with the WR model, I scaled the prediction scores for the 2018 RB class to be between 0 and 100. Seems like the top 2 tiers are:— Anthony Amico (@amicsta) February 13, 2018
Flattens out some after that. pic.twitter.com/MuB574GM2w
More Rashaad Penny Highlights. This might be the guys right here. pic.twitter.com/Z1Yf6oJOPm— Jake Burns (@jake_burns18) January 5, 2018
Washington personnel took some serious interest in RB Rashaad Penny from SDSU who took a pretty big hit from Auburn’s Tre’ Williams in practice today. He said “It’s all part of the game and I’ll get him back.” pic.twitter.com/4BXxH8ixfD— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) January 23, 2018
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
Rumor has it that the Redskins have already expressed interest in Penny through their meetings with him at the Senior Bowl. Though Steve Shoup will warn us to take these meetings with a grain of salt but I’ll indulge for the purpose of this profile. I think Penny would fit well in the Redskin’s running backs unit and he would be a nice complimentary piece to both Chris Thompson and Semaje Perine. In a perfect world, Penny would get his 22 carries a game and show us all what he can do. In a realistic world, I think he would be sharing a pretty even split carries with Perine. Even with a reduction in carries, I think Penny has the talent to create some special plays that we may not normally see out of Thompson or Perine. Penny could also offer some value returning kicks where he was very effective at SDSU. Though his pass protection needs a lot of work I think he has the traits to be a 3-down back, especially with his receiving skill. Penny offers somewhat rare elusiveness that allows him to make a mile out of an inch and it is something that is currently missing from the running backs on the roster. He also would likely be the second-best running back on the roster in space just behind Chris Thompson. I do worry about Penny’s fit without a fullback. I’m just not sure he gets the same quality of initial blocks without that position on the roster for the Redskins. I also want to see him take what the defense gives him even if it's only a couple yards on those plays where blocking breaks down. Work with the coaching staff should help undo that habit and rebuild his blocking technique. Penny is an extremely talented player who I think has a bright future in the NFL. Even though I like a couple backs better than him in the second round I would not be upset if he became a Redskin.