Rashaad Penny 2018 NFL Draft Profile

FORT WORTH, TX - DECEMBER 23: San Diego State Aztecs running back Rashaad Penny (20) scores a touchdown during the Armed Forces Bowl game between the Army Black Knights and the San Diego State Aztecs on December 23, 2017 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Position: Running Back
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 220 pounds
School: San Diego State Aztecs

Combine Performance Data
40-Yard Dash: 4.46 seconds (tied for third among running backs)
Bench Press: 13 reps
Vertical Jump: 32.5 inches
Broad Jump: 10 feet

Rashaad Penny 2018 NFL Draft Profile

Rashaad Penny initially joined the San Diego State Aztecs in 2014 and immediately saw playing time. For the first three years of his collegiate career, he and fellow running back Donnel Pumphrey split duties as the lead back. The duo was one of the best in college football from 2014-2016, but the timeshare didn’€™t stop Penny from putting up impressive numbers. In 2016, Penny rushed for 1,018 yards on just 136 carries, good for a 7.5 yards per rush average.

Pumphrey declared for the 2017 NFL Draft and was taken in the fourth round by the Philadelphia Eagles. With Pumphrey out of the way, Penny finally got the opportunity to shine as the feature back in the Aztec offense.

The spotlight was on Penny, and he did not disappoint. In his lone year as the unquestioned lead back, Penny ran for 2,248 yards at an absurd 7.8 yards per carry to go along with 23 touchdowns. His best game of the season came when he put up 216 yards against Arizona State. He dominated all season long but was especially dominant in the early part of the season. Penny recorded four straight Mountain West Conference offensive player of the week awards to open the season.

Penny’€™s senior season was an absolute success by just about every measure. His 2,248 yards from scrimmage led all Division I FBS players, and Penny finished fifth in the Heisman voting. Penny’€™s final year in college football culminated in his nomination to his first All-American team.


  • prototypical size and strength for an NFL running back;
  • doesn’t shy away from contact;
  • falls forward when tackled;
  • patient runner with great vision and block anticipation;
  • brings possible upside in special teams as a kick returner.


  • lacks ideal burst to accelerate past second level defenders;
  • not capable of breaking as many tackles as his size would suggest;
  • not a threat in the passing game;
  • didn’t face top-notch competition in college, which could have led to inflated stats;
  • needs development as a pass blocker.

NFL Comparison: LeGarrette Blount

Projection: Second round selection

Teams with a Need: New York Giants, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bottom Line

Penny is one of the safest selections in the draft. While he may not be an All-Pro caliber player, he should be a safe member of a running back by committee, at least during his rookie year. He should be a safe, high-floor running back that doesn’€™t have the ceiling of a running back like Saquon Barkley.

That being said, there’€™s plenty of value in a solid, dependable running back. Penny projects as one of the best running backs in his draft and should have no shortage of suitors. Expect Penny to compete for a starting position his rookie year, before eventually taking over the starting role his second year in the league.

Main Photo:Embed from Getty Images


  1. This was terribly researched and a cut & paste job of some bloggers on weaknesses.

    1. SDSU never “splits” lead back duties. They have a clearly defined RB1 & RB2. RB2 gets a ton of touches in their offense, but it’s a far cry from what RB1 gets.

    2. Penny wasn’t even on the depth chart at RB as a freshman. He was burried that deep on the depth chart. As a sophomore, he was RB3. He was only the RB2 for one season.

    3. How does a 4.46 guy who led the nation in long runs and was never once caught from behind in 4 years lack an ideal burst?

    4. LMAO @ “lack of breaking tackles.” Bahahahaha. He led the nation in YAC after being contacted at or behind the LOS. And he had more than 1,200 YAC in 2017. Funny how a guy who allegedly can’t break tackles had those two stats.

    5. Not a passing game threat? Did you watch the Senior Bowl with your eyes shut? He was 2nd on his team in reception in 2017. SDSU rarely passes the ball and when it does it’s off play action. The Aztec coaches toyed with moving Penny to WR when he was a 190 lb freshman. But saw his potential at RB so they decided against it.

    A legit criticism is he can’t pass block. Spend some time doing some research like watching film and looking up stats instead of making up stuff around your copy and paste job of non-existent weaknesses.


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