Trevor Penning snared attention during the 2021 season. However, a strong Senior Bowl showing propelled the All Missouri Valley Conference lineman into the national consciousness. Standing six-foot-seven and tipping the scales at 325 pounds, Penning earned his path to a potential first-round selection with diligent work and not the name of the school on his helmet.
The University of Northern Iowa
What stands out is the readjustment of his hands during an agility-based rush. For instance, on a spin, the prospect shifts his hands and guides them wider than the rusher initially wanted. Despite his size, Penning displays good feet, a decent kickstep, and movement. Meanwhile, in the run game, he explodes out of his stance, getting downhill on defenders, clearing a path for his running back. A former basketball player, Penning’s ability to stay square in front of defenders wins battles that he should not. Furthermore, Penning’s sheer will and nastiness are NFL-ready right now.
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Now, this is where his length can work against him. Penning will let rushers win the leverage battle by getting under his pads and maneuvering around him. You will see an errant swipe that will latch on to the defender, possibly earning a flag. Hypertwitched edge rushers pose problems for Penning. he rarely encountered them on a frequent basis and may not know how to recalibrate if they gain a step.
With a high floor and natural gifts, Penning would start the first day of camp, preseason, or the regular season. Balanced offenses that want to pound the ball as well as air it out, fit the prospect. To unlock Penning’s potential as a tackle, allowing him to run block will ease the stress of dealing with NFL speed. Like a boxer, wearing down the opponent with body punches, Penning’s “play to the whistle” mentality will wear down defenses over the course of four quarters. While not always aesthetically pleasing, he’s effective.
The Baltimore Ravens need a right tackle, in the worst way. With their penchant for wanting to establish the run, Penning easily fits on the right side. Lamar Jackson needs another tackle that can dominate at the point of attack. Running the ball is a mood, a frame of mind that takes the willingness to get dirty. On the other hand, the Las Vegas Chargers could also use him to keep on the right side. For further proof, run back the Raiders/Chargers season finale. Maxx Crosby lived in the backfield, virtually unbothered or touched.
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