2018 Raiders Draft Profile
Name: Rashaad Penny
School: San Diego State
Weight: 220 pounds
Averaging 7.5 yards per carry during a career cannot be underrated. Furthermore, gaining the fifth-most yards in a season on fewer than 300 carries is exceptional. Penny maneuvers through traffic with patience. He does not run up the back of blocks, rather uses his off hand to feel for distance. On inside runs, his cuts are slight and not pronounced. In those cases, defenders cannot anticipate his direction. While some backs use pronounced jump cuts, Penny moves slightly and then heads downfield.
On perimeter runs, Penny gets the corner and runs to daylight. If there is a corner in the way, Penny examines. Either he will pick a shoulder to initiate contact or use his wiggle to beat his opponent. When Penny chooses power, he does not bowl over the defender. Instead, he uses his inside leg and shoulder to give a limited strike zone. That is to say, he is not going to square up and truck anyone. This is the smart move, if he wants to enjoy a long career.
Despite weighing 220 pounds, Penny displays electric burst in the open field. His second gear allows him to streak away from linebackers and most defensive backs. While not blurring, Penny can rip off big yardage in a heartbeat. In addition, he returned eight kicks for touchdowns (seven kickoffs, one punt). In the open field, Penny remains a threat to take it the distance.
Although SDSU’s quarterback completely less than 60 percent of his passes, Penny played a role in the passing game, catching 19 passes. However, his receptions are the results of dump passes and the occasional wheel route. At the NFL level, Penny could evolve into a reliable target with reps.
Whoever Perry’s position coach is, they will need to work with him on this aspect. In protection, Penny needs to improve his hand placement and not just barrel into a rusher. With time and technique, he will improve this, allowing his quarterback to build confidence in him.
Marshawn Lynch turns 32 this year. Add in the 2000-plus carries and the realization that he is in the twilight of his career. The Raiders need a suitable apprentice. Penny gives them a big-play back with return ability. In addition, he could supplant Jalen Richard completely. Under Jon Gruden, the offense will take a different look. The Raiders need to start bringing in rookie playmakers on offense.