Who is the 5-foot-11 220 pound Rashaad Penny?
Penny was a four-year starter at San Diego State who averaged a stellar 7.5 yards per carry and rushed for over 3,600 in his college career. He had a monster senior season, rushing for 2,248 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also had seven kickoff returns for touchdowns in his career, and one additional on a punt return. The Norwalk, California native looks everything of an NFL running back, and the last San Diego State running back to play for the Rams didn't do too badly. I'm not saying Penny is Marshall a Faulk, but the guy is pretty good, both as a runner and a return specialist. Penny does have some of the characteristics that Faulk possessed, including great vision, patience, big-play ability, and a nose for the end-zone.
Rashaad Penny Highlights
Penny, checking in at 5'11 and 220 with 4.46 speed in the 40-yard dash, looks the part of an NFL running back. He is a powerful, dynamic runner who can run inside between the tackles or bust it outside for a big play. He secures the ball and with the ability to make people miss in the open field. While he wasn't asked to catch the ball as much with the Aztecs, he seemed to do a pretty good job as a receiver when called upon. One of the big bonuses Penny would offer the Rams besides backing up Todd Gurley is his abilities as a return man. As I mentioned above, he was an excellent kickoff returner in college, logging 2,449 yards and seven touchdowns. While he only returned a couple of punts, one of those was for a touchdown and there is no reason to believe his game won't translate as an NFL punt returner.
While Penny was a decent receiver when called upon in college, it isn't an area where he has a lot of experience. His pass protection abilities have been questioned, and some scouts think he dances around too much instead of just taking it up the field. While I’m personally a big fan of where Penny played in the Mountain West Conference, as it doesn’t compare to the SEC (South Eastern Conference). His competition from game to the game probably wasn't on par with some of the backs from the ''power" conferences, but his statistics were better/
How does he fit for the Rams?
Absolutely. Having said that, there are a couple of big questions that would have to be answered first. One is whether he will still be available when the Rams have their first pick of the draft in the third round, barring a trade. The other is whether the Rams will want to spend their highest remaining pick on a guy who won't start this year, barring an injury to Todd Gurley. This team really needs linebackers, and that may take priority. The other need is offensive line depth, and only Les Snead and Sean McVay really know what the Rams game plan is for the draft.
David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
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