2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Penny Hart
School: Georgia State University
Weight: 180 pounds
Round Projection: Day 3
Despite his small stature, Hart gives the quarterback the best throwing window he can. With his routes running, he pushes the defender back an extra half-yard. As a result, the quarterback gets a foot or so more room to find the diminutive Hart in traffic. When the pass arrives, Hart stabs and secures in one solid motion. While his numbers did decline, realize that his 2018 quarterback was a first-year starter and featured a 59.8 completion percentage. That is to say, Hart endured many poorly thrown balls and managed to make the best out of a bad situation.
Granted, looking at Hart, you would expect blazing speed. While he will time in the 4.4s, that remains unimportant. As we know, game speed supersedes timed speed. With Hart, he possesses the acceleration to pull completely away from defenders. In an instant, he will turn on the jets and leave his man behind. Whether in the backfield, the slot or as a returner, Hart can make a game-changing play quickly.
Along with explosion, Hart runs crisp route. Never rounded, he executes his cuts to near perfection, catching defenders leaning, allowing the ball to find him.
In GSU’s offense, Hart lines up everywhere. At the next level, he will man the slot. With that said, he breaks off option routes, ins, slants, and screens. These underneath routes force action from the defender. If there is any failure in coverage, Hart can take the ball the distance.
As mentioned, Hart causes problems underneath. Quick as a cat and blessed with an excellent stutter move, he will make the first would-be tackler completely miss, then head upfield.
With the Raiders coaching the North team during the Senior Bowl, Jon Gruden will see Hart up close. Already, he mentioned how Hart will see reps in the slot during the game. Granted, at first blush, Hart may not look like a Gruden type. However, with age comes hopeful wisdom that Gruden learns to not pigeonhole based on size. Hart’s playmaking will open eyes. If the Raiders want to reconstruct their receiving corps/special teams, a player like Hart could add instant value and see the field early in the 2019 season.