During the opening round of the NFL draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected Rashaad Penny with the 27th overall selection.
The former Aztec running back will begin his professional career in the Pacific Northwest.
His selection there came as a bit of a surprise to many draft pundits, as they expected Penny to go either in the second or third round.
However, Seattle was needing a big running back in the worst way possible. So they used their first round selection on the Aztecs’ superstar. It is worth noting that Penny is the first San Diego State player to be drafted in the first round since Kyle Turley way back in 1998, and the first skill position player since Marshall Faulk in 1994.
I think it is safe to assume that Penny will immediately get the starting role in the Seahawks’ backfield. Their running backs were the achilles heel of what was supposed to be a dynamic offense during the 2017 season. The running game was so anemic in the Pacific Northwest, that no running back on the roster gained more than 240 yards on the ground.
Obviously that just won’t lead to many wins in the NFL. It’s obvious that coach Pete Carroll and his staff believe Rashaad Penny is the missing piece in Seattle’s attack.
How Penny fits in the offense is obvious. He will be a three-down back and will take pressure off Russell Wilson and the passing game. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has a long history of working with bigger backs and making the most out of their skill set. What concerns me about Penny’s role on the team is the fact the starting offensive line is not very good. In fact, it was the lowest-rated offensive line according to some advanced metrics. More troubling is the fact the Seahawks have not addressed their offensive line during the off-season. Regardless of the current situation, I fully expect Rashaad Penny to be in the conversation for rookie of the year.
For the San Diego State football program, this is a huge deal. Penny being drafted this high gives them a great tool in the recruiting trail. It shows potential recruits that Rocky Long’s coaching staff has what it takes to develop players and prepare them for the next level and professional football.
This is a very nice time for SDSU and its football program. If the coaching staff can find a way to sell this to future players, there’s no doubt in my mind that San Diego State will be in the conversation for the Mountain West title year in and year out. Rashaad Penny is leading the way to future Aztec success.