San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny is a well-built running back prospect who also features breakaway speed.
Rashaad Penny has had an extremely successful college career. His numbers while at San Diego State are eye-popping and a main part of the team’s success. He has a bright future in the NFL if he can clean up some key parts of his game.
Penny’s size and bulk give him the ability to work between the tackles. He does a good job running with authority and fighting through arm tackles. However, Penny shouldn’t be seen as a power-back but as a well-rounded runner.
His bulk also helps him carry the load and be a workhorse. Penny has proven his durability and that he is capable of being the focal point of an offense.
Despite his size, Penny also features excellent quickness and breakaway speed. A simple search of his highlights will show a ton of long runs. His big-play ability comes from his quick-twitch, 2nd gear and good vision.
Penny does a good job locating the open running lanes and is able to accelerate through the hole. He also has that 2nd gear that allows him to outpace angles and finish off the longer runs. These skills also show up in the return game where Penny is a major asset.
He has experience as both a kick and punt returner. His return skills will absolutely help him earn some immediate playing time at the next level.
Penny’s vision in the run game helps him make the most out of each carry. He has the lateral quickness needed to use a jump cut and work to the edges. His speed really jumps out when he attacks the edge as he is able to outpace angles to turn the corner.
This is someone who could have a really successful career in the NFL. However, Penny is a major liability as a pass blocker. The inability to protect the quarterback has the potential to keep Penny from earning snaps.
His struggles in protection are related to effort and technique. Penny doesn’t approach the rusher with authority and rarely uses his hands. This allows the defender to knock him back into the quarterback. Penny also has a tendency to throw his shoulder at the defender which does little to stop the rush.
Overall, Penny has the skills as a runner to be a difference maker. The problem is that no NFL team will let him on the field for an extended period of time until he improves as a pass blocker.