Film Room: Rashaad Penny's fit with the Seattle Seahawks (NFL Draft 2018 Ep. 17)

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The Seattle Seahawks took Rashaad Penny with their first round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. This pick surprised many. Going into the NFL Draft, I gave Penny a late second - early third round grade. Needless to say, taking him at 27th overall was shocking to say the least.

As a prospect, Penny is a well-built, upright runner who runs hard on every snap. He typically has good vision and is one of the most “no nonsense” type of running backs in this class. He is really good at getting downhill quickly and based on my film study, his best trait is his ability to set up his blocks. He does a great job of pressing the hole before making his move.

In my opinion, even though he is a really good kickoff returner, he doesn’t have the versatility to play on third downs just yet. His pass blocking leaves a lot to be desired. Additionally, while he was used as a receiving back on checkdowns and screen passes, I don’t think he has the natural ability to separate while split outside. He did this occasionally with San Diego State, and I’d much rather see him master the playbook as a pure runner before moving him out there.

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50 Responses

  1. I dunno, in these clips it looks like he waits and finds seams in jammed up lines for decent yards, and when he does actually get a hole, he goes the distance. It will be interesting to see, but I’m hopeful.

  2. If you are thinking they should have taken Barkley then I couldn't disagree more. Barkley reminds me of Bush (USC), and we all know Bush didn't have the size to transition well to the NFL as a featured back. Penny has the prototypical body and build for this position….but he does have some things to work on for sure.

  3. I absolutely love this pick. Everyone hating , even Seahawks fans but I think it was a great pick considering the Seahawks lacked a 2nd round pick. Exactly what the Seahawks needed. They weren't going to get him if they waited. He can contribute on offense and special teams. Just a perfect fit.

  4. This was a great video and thank you for talking about how good the O-Line was for SDSU. Mayock said the Stanford tape was good. The Cardinal has a reputation for being a physical team but when I watched the tape, the O-Line of the Aztecs was really good and it was hard to evaluate if Penny was good that game.

  5. Drafting for positional value or team needs? The Seahawks desperately need a solid running game on 1st and 2nd down. With only one other pick before the 4th round (due to bad decision earlier) the Seahawks didn't have the picks to draft on talent alone but fill the most important gaps. (6 RB picked before their next pick)

  6. I disagree with the dismissal of the yards after contact statistic, certainly saying it is "100% misleading". 100% misleading is stating that it means the opposite of what it implies, which is clearly not the case.

    Furthermore, the stat is couched as a comparison between Barkley at Penn State, a college versus other colleges, and Penny at San Diego State, another college versus other colleges, yet you hold the statistic up as a declaration of Penny's predicted production at the NFL level, saying that the type of contact he faced in college is nothing compared to the contact he will face in the NFL. Certainly Barkley too will have faced weaker contact at the collegiate level than he will face in the pros.

    Also, the comparison is between Penny and Barkley and college contact is college contact; the only real variable is sample size. The larger the sample size, the more reliable the comparison, that is the comparison amongst college runners. If you mean to imply that Penny's contact was always less firm than Barkley's contact, than you will need to prove that which you did not even attempt to do.

  7. I don't agree at all. Is Penny the best blocker? No, but the lone clip of him blocking you showed he did his job. Not his fault his QB sucked and ran right into a Dlineman.

    Also I disagree with the yards after contact at the line stat. Penn State had a much better Oline than SDSU did. There are also tons of arm tackles just like the ones it shows Penny breaking through at the NFL level as well. Hell most teams have tackeling issues in the NFL.

  8. Pennys vs ROJOs O-Line is one reason I thought people overlooked how good ROJO was in college. He ran behind a makeshift line last season and still torched defenses with his increased weight and deadly jump cuts. I think ROJO has a better year and beyond.

  9. Great video man. Also an important thing to point at as to why this is important, the Seahawks o-line is very bad. Will he be able to adjust from having a great o-line to an incredibly poor one in addition to making the small school college to NFL adjustments as well.

  10. I noticed that SDSU does a great job of blocking. They do this DESPITE the fact that you yourself (and others here) point out that he was their only weapon. Hell, they haven't had a QB worth much in a number of years. They're lucky if they can just get a guy to connect on a short route on play action. I get that they don't play Penn State's schedule, but why do you suppose they block a full yard better than PSU? It has nothing to do with Penny who's getting all those carries? I really like Penny, so I'm just going to admit that right off the bat, maybe I'm biased. I'm nervous about Saquon given he basically has concrete posts for legs, I know he's strong, but how many carries can he take per game? And can he perform when he's not fresh? It didn't seem like it in college. Penny had like 7 additional carries per game as a starter which is huge.

  11. This pick is fascinating, I hope he does well. I think this season is a "building block" for Pete and the guys. Honestly, I don't see them winning more than 7 games at best. They need to free up dead money, have another solid draft, develop the younger guys and add a few vets along the way. Sorry to say it, it's the Rams division.

  12. Love the detailed analasys. However what you say about the O-Line stands out most for me. Seattle desperately need some good offensive linemen, no matter what Penny can do. This is not college so he might well not be able to call on all he was able to do in college football.
    I can't get over why Seattle didn't pick a bunch of linemen

  13. Great analysis, the only thing I have to say about your comments on backfield penetration and the running game at SDSU is that they didn't have any passing game; I believe that they averaged under 200 ypg. That was because they just rode Penny to wins, but in Seattle he will be sharing the backfield with Russell Wilson, one of the best QB's in the game. I think that Penny in the future could into a Le'veon Bell type back, and the Seahawks could become similar to the Steelers. They need to upgrade the line and wide receivers, but I think the Hawks are only a couple years away from making some more Super Bowl runs

  14. The thing about Seattle is that they don't care about getting value for their picks. They pick players they want, and they don't gamble with draft position. It's a strategy I like a lot better than trying to go BPA and building a team from there. If you know a guy will succeed with you, then you take him over the wild card whose perceived ceiling is lower. Sherman was supposed to be too slow to play corner, the entire league asked Chancellor to move to OLB, and he refused, Bruce Irvin wasn't even on the shortlist of top edge rushers, yet Seattle took him something like 15th overall, and Bobby Wagner played in a nobody conference. Seattle doesn't care about how a pick looks to the "experts", because the experts see things entirely in terms of prototypes, and can only see a team being built one way; cannon arm QB over 6'3", man-blocking o-line, big receiving TE, powerful receivers who can box out their assignment, 3-4 defense with big, fast OLBs, tall, quick corners, and one star in the middle of the field somewhere. Seattle, up until 2015, only fit one of those criteria, and that would be the towering corners, which they popularized.

    I suppose all of this is just a long-winded way of saying don't get worked up over draft grades. The best coaches know exactly what they want and aren't concerned with how it looks to people who've never laced up a pair of cleats past Pop Warner.

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