Position: Running Back
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
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.
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