Here is the 2018 NFL Draft profile of San Diego State Aztecs running back Rashaad Penny. Here’s a breakdown of his strengths, weaknesses, video highlights, and if he makes sense for the New York Jets.
In the 2018 NFL Draft, a running back with star credentials could be available when the New York Jets pick in the third round. NFL draft expert Todd McShay has the Jets selecting San Diego State Aztecs running back Rashaad Penny with the teams’ second pick in the third round. The Jets are without a second-round pick as they traded it to the Indianapolis Colts to move up three spots in the first round so they could select their potential franchise quarterback.
Penny exploded in his last season at the college level. Leading the entire nation in rushing with 2,248 yards on 289 carries including 23 rushing touchdowns. As a kick returner, Penny ranked fifth in the country, averaging 31.2 yards per return plus returning two kicks back for touchdowns.
Penny had an outstanding senior season that captured NFL scouts attention. The Aztec star added to his remarkable season at this year’s senior bowl by winning the co-south most outstanding player award. He shined while rushing for 64 yards on nine carries. Had the longest run by any of the bowl backs when he blasted off a 34-yard run. The Aztecs star running back also hauled in a 73-yard touchdown pass.
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Standing at 5’11, 220 lbs., Penny has the perfect size for a three-down back. Runs with short, quick strides and has an exceptional vision to find holes quickly. Follows and utilizes his blockers extremely well. He is a powerful and elusive back able to break through tackles.
Penny has shown he is proficient as a receiver out of the backfield. Has terrific long-lasting stamina to become an overall No. 1 back. Would be able to start returning kickoffs immediately for any NFL team as he returned seven kickoffs back for touchdowns.
Ran out of the eye formation for SDSU and would have to show he can run in other formations. Must secure the ball better as he had fumbling issues, three of them this past year and seven total throughout his collegiate career. Runs in one gear alone, unable to shift or turn up his speed to a higher faster level.
In free agency this year, the Jets signed Isaiah Crowell to a three-year $12 million contract. The Jets added Crowell as a complementary back as opposed to being the team’s number one featured back. Running back Bilal Powell is in the last year of his contract and will turn 30 as he begins his eighth year with the Jets this season. Elijah McGuire, last year’s sixth-round draft pick, played all right. However, he did not show he has the qualities of a featured number one running back that the Jets are lacking.
Penny could be there when the Jets pick in the third round, 72nd overall. However, the Jets must fix their offensive line first if they expect any of their running backs to succeed. They have a glaring need on the defensive line as well. Therefore, utilizing their second pick in this year’s draft to take a running back would not be an overall good selection as it’s unlikely to happen.