There is great depth in this draft’s running back class. San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny is in prime position to be one of the best from this group. Penny is 5’11” and 220 lbs. In 2017 he was named a Consensus All-American as he ran for 2,248 yards on 289 attempts adding 23 touchdowns. At the NFL Scouting Combine, he ran the 40 yard dash in 4.46 seconds.
Penny is explosive and elusive. Showing his explosion, he ran for 15 yards or more on a single attempt 35 times, including many of his touchdown runs. His elusiveness is best explained by this statistic from Pro Football Focus, he had 86 forced missed tackles which is the most among the running backs from this draft class.
Besides for his rushing abilities, he was also a productive receiver and returner at San Diego State. During his college career he averaged 11.4 yards per catch and showed his ability to amass yards after the catch. As a returner, he scored eight touchdowns in four years and averaged 30.2 yards on kick returns and 35 yards on punt returns.
Some other good football qualities that Penny possesses are his quick feet, durability, that he is an instinctive runner and has a lot of athletic upside. He is a patient runner allowing the holes to develop before he makes his move. Furthermore, he finishes runs with force always keeping his feet moving so that when he does break away from a tackler he can show the explosiveness that he has.
An area where Penny needs to show improvement is in pass protection, especially being able to pick up the blitz, which is an important part of a running back’s job in the NFL. Additionally, his ball security needs to be tightened up at the next level.
I think that Penny could be in play for the Browns in the draft. The Browns should look to add a running back and because of the plethora of options, Penny could be picked up later in the draft. The Browns did sign Carlos Hyde in free agency and still have Duke Johnson, who should have a bigger role this upcoming season under new Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley, but adding a talent like Rashaad Penny could really put the Browns over the top.